Avast 5 coming in October, beta testing in two weeks
What's new? For starters, the interface has received some obvious TLC - gone is the option of switching between the simple and enhanced UIs. Under the hood, Avast 5 now supports heuristics and will feature an improved and optimized detection engine. From the official blog post, "It may sound like a cliché, but it's a fact: the new engine can detect more viruses, while actually consuming less resources."
Version 5 also boasts detection of PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and a new code emulator that is better able to detect unknown malware packers. Avast has also tuned the program to minimize impact on startup and shutdown times.
Paid versions include a virtualization component as well, likely similar to the one used by Sunbelt in Vipre. As you can see in the screenshot, the new version of the Internet Security suite will also include a firewall and anti-spam module.
Here's some great news for current Avast users: the upgrade to version 5 will be free to anyone with a valid license. When was the last time you saw the big guys (Norton, McAfee) offering that?