Unchecky v1.0 is Here! Interview with Michael Maltsev


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Here at Reason Software, we are excited to announce the release of Unchecky v1.0. This newest version of Unchecky is the first version that is no longer in beta and is also significant as this is the first major release since joining up with Reason Software. It also has some new features and some old features have been enhanced to make it even more effective.
Now that Unchecky’s developer Michael Maltsev is around the Reason Software office every now and then, we figured we would torture him with an interview to find out how things have changed since Unchecky and Reason Software joined forces.
It turns out that Michael was more than happy to give us an insider peek into what’s happening with Unchecky and how things have and have not changed since he joined our team.
Batya Steinherz: What’s the significance of the program no longer being in beta?
Michael Maltsev: The fact that Unchecky is no longer a beta product means that we consider it to be mature enough for everyday use.
During the development of Unchecky, especially in early versions, there were several known issues and limitations. Many programs and installers weren’t tested with it, so we told users to consider Unchecky to be an experimental product. With time, most of the major issues were resolved, and Unchecky was tested with many more installers – by us, as well as by the huge amount of Unchecky users.
Also, many programs were added to Unchecky’s database with time, so now it can handle many more available installers than it could in the early versions.
All in all, Unchecky is now a mature and thoroughly tested product, which can help avoid unwanted software while saving time and frustration.
Batya Steinherz: How are the new tool tips designed to help users?
Michael Maltsev: The warning tooltips feature was introduced in version 0.4, about a year ago, but now in this new version, it’s turned on by default.
In earlier versions of Unchecky, the user got a warning upon clicking a button which causes an installation of a potentially unwanted program. That means that in order to know whether Unchecky considers a button to be flagged, the user had to click on it, which is usually a bad idea.
With the new warning tooltips feature, the user can find out whether the button leads to an installation of a potentially unwanted program without clicking on it and taking a risk. This leads to a better and more confident software installation experience.
Batya Steinherz: Now that Unchecky has been part of Reason Core Security for over a year, how has that affected you? How has it affected Unchecky?
Michael Maltsev: First of all, I’d like to mention that the combination of an anti-malware software together with Unchecky turned out to be the perfect combination. Reason Core Security (“RCS”) anti-malware is the perfect solution for filling the gap that traditional antivirus software miss.
As of the effect on Unchecky, not much has changed, which is a good thing. Apart from being a part of RCS, Unchecky continues to evolve as a free and standalone application, and is available for those who use a different anti-malware solution, or don’t use one. If you are one of those users, we suggest to give RCS a try. We believe that you will discover a high quality, valuable product.
Batya Steinherz: What’s the best part about working with Reason Software?
Michael Maltsev: The best part about working with Reason Software is that I continue to work on a program which I have initially created, doing what I like, and knowing that my work helps people on a daily basis.
Also, being a student, the work at Reason Software is very flexible – most of the work is done remotely, and my schedule is adjusted to my studies, which is very important for me.
Of course, no less important is the fact that my co-workers are great people and are a pleasure to work with.
Batya Steinherz: What would you like to see change about the software industry and AV/AM products?
Michael Maltsev: The current status of the software industry on Windows is far from ideal, and improving it is not a simple problem to solve.
In my opinion, the dilemma is between users who want clean, ad-free, and preferably free software, versus the need of the developers for revenue, as developing software takes time and money.
While searching for a program, a non-experienced user will probably choose a free program, and not a paid one. In turn, many free programs offer extra software (potentially unwanted programs) as a way for the developers to get revenue. That’s understandable from the developers’ point of view, but the problem is that these offers are often opt-out and easy to miss, especially for inexperienced users. The result is that the user’s computer gets bloated with unnecessary software, without the user realizing it. This is well demonstrated in the following article: Here’s What Happens When You Install the Top 10 Download.com Apps.
One possible solution for this problem is to have a more controlled software installation process. This works well in Android, for example: the application installation process is standardized, and there’s no way for an application to have an opt-out offer to install a sponsored, unrelated application. Unfortunately, due to legacy considerations of the Windows ecosystem, implementing a similar solution in Windows is not easy. Although Microsoft introduced the Windows Store in Windows 8, together with the new, “Modern” apps, it still isn’t a viable replacement for the classic applications.
Meanwhile, classic applications are still the mainstream on Windows, and traditional antiviruses don’t help much with the situation. Here’s where Unchecky comes into play: currently, it’s the only solution which helps users avoid potentially unwanted programs, which can be helpful even for experienced users, as some offers are very easy to miss.
Batya Steinherz: Awesome! Thank you for giving our audience an insider’s peek at Unchecky’s new and improved features and for such a thorough and clear introduction on the inner workings of the software installation process.
Want to read more from Unchecky? Check out Michael’s own blog at