The list of “compatible” antivirus programs for Windows 7 is short – Norton, Kaspersky, Avira, and AVG.
I tried Kaspersky 8 Beta first, but after a couple of weeks I’ve determined that it’s just too bulky and “obtrusive” and has some issues that I’m not happy about. Recently I uninstalled this (thankfully, the uninstall was very clean and left no traces) and tried AVG Free.
AVG free boasts some 80 million users, is MUCH more lightweight, and at this point this is the one I recommend for Windows 7. For a “free” version – this thing has way more features than you’d expect.
Since my Avast! license recently expired on my main development machine that runs Windows Vista x64, I installed AVG Free on that too. It found and eliminated nearly half a dozen known threats that Avast! never was able to find. The only option that is disabled that I could find on AVG Free was the rootkit scan. F-Secure has a free FSBL.EXE scanner to take care of that, so the “free” antivirus option is indeed alive and well.
Furthermore, with AVG running and all of its components fully enabled, Windows 7 runs on my notebook computer in only 653MB of RAM! And that’s with SQL Server 2008 and a whole bunch of other services running. Microsoft got this one right! Once I figured out how to get the “Send Feedback” links off all the windows and get rid of the desktop watermark in the right lower corner, it doesn’t act like a BETA to me!
Oh, and did I say “Free”?