Panda now offers free antivirus and is banking on the "cloud computing" trend of late in the process:
Panda Security, a leading provider of IT security solutions, today announced the global beta release of Panda Cloud Antivirus, the industry's first and only free cloud-based antivirus thin-client with 50 percent less impact on PC performance compared to the industry average. Consumers can download the free product from http://www.cloudantivirus.com.
With Panda Cloud Antivirus, Panda Security is introducing a new protection model that utilizes a thin-client agent and server architecture which processes and blocks malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products. By moving the entire malware scanning and determination process to the cloud and applying non-intrusive interception techniques on the client architecture, Panda Cloud Antivirus is able to provide advanced protection against new and unknown viruses with a lightweight thin-client agent that barely consumes any PC resources.
Traditional antivirus products for PCs rely on multiple locally installed technologies which intercept each file at different layers (entry vector, file system and execution) and scan them using various techniques (antivirus, heuristics, intrusion prevention, behavioral analysis, etc.). This process results in heavy usage of local PC memory and CPU resources, negatively impacting performance. The Panda Cloud Antivirus thin-client agent introduces a new philosophy for on-access asynchronous cloud-scanning. It combines local detection technologies with real-time cloud-scanning to maximize protection while minimizing resource consumption. This optimized model blocks malicious programs as they attempt to execute, while managing less dangerous operations via non-intrusive background scans.
Panda Cloud Antivirus includes local and remote antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit, heuristics and goodware cache, while only consuming an average of 17 MB of RAM and 50 percent of the PC performance impact as compared to the industry average.
Looks interesting. I wonder if this works in Windows 7. Checking...
Update: This thing only works on 32-bit versions of Windows (!!) Wah-wah-waaaaaahhh.... FAIL.