(PRAGUE, June 1, 2010) Ever hear of the Rocket Chemical Company, Software Development Laboratories, or Binney & Smith? Probably, but not by these names. Each of these companies changed their name to reflect the success of their flagship product: WD-40, Oracle software, and Crayola crayons for children.
Now it is time for ALWIL Software. With over 100 million registered users of its avast! antivirus applications, the company is changing its name to AVAST Software as of June 1, 2010.
"In a web-based user survey, only a fraction could identify the name of our company even though this same group was pleased with the product," said CEO Vince Steckler. "With 68 percent of new users coming via a friend’s recommendation, it is time to make the company name more visible."
The avast name has been used by the company since 1989, soon after the founders – Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera - began working together. "Avast was simply an abbreviated code name for one of the programs we were working on at the time: ‘Anti-virus – Advanced Set‘," explained Pavel Baudis.
The first avast program went to market in 1989 and was used only in Czechoslovakia. Several product generations later, avast! 5.0 now has over 100 million registered users in nearly all countries and territories around the globe.
Avast certainly predates the computer as sailors have been yelling "avast" since the 17th century. The word was probably derived from the Dutch houd vast to "hold fast". "It’s a good title for an antivirus product as it means stop, has a nice history, and now has a future as part of AVAST Software," said Mr. Baudis.