I've seen this issue mentioned on the forums already. But would like to give a little more insight why its is such an annoyance to the point of forcing me to go back to 7.5. I also propose a few solutions.
Any service deactivation on the AVG Components window forces AVG tray icon into the error state.
Why is this a problem
Some of us don't want certain services. Mostly because have specific 3rd party replacements which we like/prefer more. This is true, for instance of the new Anti-Spyware service. But also because we may feel we don't need/want them. The common example here being the new LinkScanner.
Its perfectly reasonable for you, good folks at Grisoft, to sustain the argument that within the context of AVG usage, disabling these services makes the user less secure. You just don't know if we are using 3rd party replacements or if we care about safe browsing techniques and habits. As such, at the surface, turning the program into an error state makes sense. This is particularly important to computer illiterate users and even the average user who still lacks some knowledge on these matters.
However, this introduces a problem; For any user who knows what they are doing by disabling some service (personally, I want LinkScanner, Anti-Spyware, and Schedules disabled) it is extremely annoying to be told by the software that not only we are not secured, when we know better, but also all the functionality of the tray icon is suddenly lost. The program enters into error state mode and is permanently left there.
Believe it or not, but for the most part of us, we only want to see the error state when there's a new update to the program databases or after a predetermined period has passed without any updates to the database.
It's important that on the part of Grisoft, these users are accounted for and you don't loose them over such a trivial aspect of AVG design. It's also important Grisoft understands more technical users don't like or want to become dependent on one tool alone to handle their security needs. It's almost their mantra to never do that (ironically enough, for security reasons). They pick the best of the bunch on those several areas they are concerned about. AVG has been installed on many of these users machines for some years now. But 8.0 is introducing a problem that may as well mean they won't again.
I cannot ignore the importance of this "feature". I have acknowledged that a few paragraphs above; in short, less technical users or users wanting to benefit only from AVG features shouldn't be ignored either. In that context, both worlds must be accounted for. I humbly propose two possible solutions for the problem.
1. Advanced Component Settings
By accessing Tools > Advanced Settings the user is allowed to enable or disable error state for each Disabled Components... within reason. That is, components like LinkScanner, Anti-Spyware and Update Manager have a checkbox that allows the program to ignore their state when evaluating the application general error state.
It's perhaps important this option is only made available through the Advanced Options so the average user doesn't unintentionally make the software behave in a way they don't understand.
2. Tray Icon Sets
The tray icon switches between different icons indicating disabled services but retaining database update status functionality. For instance, I envision the current tray icon with a tiny yellow exclamation mark on the upper left corner indicating some services are disabled and yet allowing it to retain information on whether the database is up-to-date.
As far as I'm concerned, and voicing those few I have talked about over this issue among my friends, AVG 7.5 (and prior versions) feature that allowed us to disable all scheduler tasks and still be remembered -- within a predetermined period of time -- that we needed to update our AVG virus database, was a favorite feature. We also liked the fact AVG didn't try to outsmart us by unnecessarily decide for us if we are working on a secure or insecure environment.
Personally this single feature alone made me, and these fellas, switch back to 7.5 and, if left unchecked, soon enough choose another tool for our anti-virus needs when 7.5 database stops being updated. Personally I see no need to be forced to do that considering how trivial the solution can be.