Six months ago, when AdAware 2007 was first released, I installed it having been loyal user of AdAware for as many years as I've had a PC (almost). It is such a long time ago I cannot remember all the reasons why I didn't like 2007 but it seemed cumbersome compared to SE (and certainly bloatware by comparison).
I have 4 physical HDDs with about 4 partitions on each. With SE I could do a custom scans, according to the content of the partitions, which I undertook over differing timescales. The content of some partitions were not exposed to the possibility of spyware infection so a long, full scan needed to be undertaken relatively infrequently and a minimal 'smart' scan undertaken most days. However I found it valuable to be able to selectively scan other partitions at longer time intervals. Custom scans were now only available in the paid for version. I uninstalled 2007.
I had been away over the Christmas period and my last definition was approximately mid December. I kept getting the 'No definition updates available' message which I thought strange. This, it turned out, was untrue as I eventually discovered by searching out this forum. I could find nothing on the Lavasoft home page, press releases, news etc. about the withdrawal of full support for SE.
So now I know I can manually download and install definition updates, and have done so. However it is messy and inconvenient. My habit was to regularly perform a basic 'Smart System Scan', checking for updated definitions before a scan so the inconvenience of doing this manually has now become a deterrent to using AdAware SE. I have sought out and installed several other free anti-malware programs some of which I will keep and others which are still being evaluated. I don't know if I will try 2007 again - maybe it has been updated since its first release. I had no idea so many others had found it less then satisfactory.
I consider it a bad move to update a program but oblige users to pay for functions that were previously available for free in an earlier version. I also consider withdrawing the facility of downloading definition updates from within the program without any hint of this to be very poor practice. For a couple of weeks I believed the untrue assertions of no updates when these were in fact available. For those of us that want to continue using SE I consider this deliberate introduction of inconvenience a hassle and petty. If the definition updates ARE available why cannot they be made available by clicking on the 'connect' button as before?
My continued affiliation with AdAware and Lavasoft is currently hanging by a thread.