Ad-Aware is one of the most popular anti-spyware tools worldwide, with millions of downloads along its history of development. It comes in three different tastes (Plus, Pro and Enterprise, all paid-for licenses), as well as a free, slightly crippled version for home users. And now all of them are going under a beta testing stage in preparations for their next big release: Ad-Aware 2008.
After their succeed with the previous beta program (more than 335,000 users applied to be beta testers) Lavasoft has decided to release the first public version of Ad-Aware 2008 also as a testing beta, counting on the users’ feedback to give its big shot the final shape before starting to ship it. After signing up as beta user and receiving a confirmation email, you can download the program. Your beta tester username and password also give you access to a special area in the Lavasoft website where you can submit any bugs you find, keep track of them and also suggest any idea you may have about how to improve the program’s functionality and performance.
Ad-Aware 2008 doesn’t change much in itself – at least not in appearance. The program still keeps the same interface from the previous version which, in my opinion, could improve a lot with some small tweaks (those crystal buttons and reflections are a bit out of date now).
According to Lavasoft, this new version has improved its performance and stability and now takes up much less resources. Though I probably didn’t test the program long enough (anti-spyware tools are fully tested when used over a long period of time) I can clearly tell the program is now faster in system scans and lighter on PC resources. Other important improvements include full support for 64-bit systems and Windows Vista, an enhanced rootkit removal system and integrated antivirus protection, though sadly this last feature will only be available for Plus and Pro versions.
So if you want to give Ad-Aware 2008 beta a go, sign up as beta tester and get your copy. Note that being a beta, the program may still be a bit buggy and you shouldn’t use it as your only security app for spyware protection.