New Digsby comes clean

IM client attempts to address last month's controversy over bundleware notification without changing its business model. Is notification prior to installation enough?

About a month ago, multi-protocol instant messaging client Digsby found itself at the center of a user conflagration, sparked by how it notified people about their installer's bundleware. Digsby build 65, today's update, addresses some of those complaints and throws in feature enhancements, too.

Users can finally opt-out of Digsby's grid computing system before they install the program.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

However, this doesn't mean that Digsby has changed its business model. The program still comes bundled with several opt-out changes to your browser. To avoid them, users must opt out of several bundled add-ins. One will change your default home page to a Digsby-branded Google search, and another will add eBay and Amazon.com to your search bar. A third installs the Ask.com toolbar. Note, however, that none of these are new to this build, and have been in Digsby for quite some time.

The Plura network uses your CPU cycles when idle for both nonprofit and for-profit ventures, and users could only deactivate it after they had installed the program. While it will probably upset some that Digsby still participates in Plura, at least now Digsby is being more fair about it by giving you the chance to opt-out before the CPU cycle usage begins. Also, the one ad for the Ask.com toolbar is all that's left of the five ads that users had to opt out of--again, it's still annoying, but now it's less so. Some users might not see the Ask.com ad, depending on whether the installer detects that it's already installed or if it determines that installing it will be difficult.

The new features in Digsby 65 include a revamped Facebook news feed that pulls in all Facebook feed content, not just your friends' status updates, and support for MySpaceIM. Digsby seems to have corralled its RAM issues for good, maintaining around 35 to 45 MB RAM even when running multiple tabs from multiple protocols over the past several program updates.

Because Digsby has allowed users to opt out of all its bundleware, if you can tolerate the opt-out nature of it, then it looks like it's worth a second glance.

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