Digsby update brings Windows 7 features

Build 76 beta test version of the multiple-protocol instant-messaging client includes enhancements focused on Windows 7 and socialnetworking.

A recent update to Digsby, a controversial multiple-protocol instant-messaging client, focuses on enhancements specific to Windows 7 and tweaks several social-networking features.

Trending news comes on by default in the latest version of Digsby, shown on the left. On the right, one of Digsby's Windows 7 skins.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Given the problem it had last year with its CPU cycle-grabbing shenanigans, one would think that Digsby would hold back from adding another service requiring those who don't want it to go through a post-installation opt-out process. But Digsby build 76 beta, released February 11 and announced broadly on Thursday, does just that with a OneRiot trending-news service it automatically added to users' social feeds. Users can disable the service in the General & Profile menu under Preferences.

The Windows 7 features include jump-list access to basic tasks, such as initiating a new instant message, setting your global status, and accessing Preferences. Interestingly, it also will add your most frequently messaged buddies, based on the size of their chat log. Notifications and unread conversation counts are also accessible in the taskbar.

The Windows 7 skins are a series of themes designed to work with the default Aero colors. These basically match the background of the friend pane to the Windows toolbar color. Somewhat annoyingly, Digsby has mapped the CTRL+S hot key combo to bring up the skins pane, though it's the default for saving in nearly every other program in existence.

Social-networking changes in this build of Digsby include adding a "dislike" button to Facebook, bringing commenting to updates from MySpace friends, and revamping Facebook notification pop-ups. In the blog post discussing the changes in this update, Digsby revealed that the next public build will include per-character formatting so that users can italicize or make bold selected parts of an IM, not just the whole thing, as well as group chat. The company also acknowledged that it will be spending more time on porting the program to Mac and Linux, which has been discussed for several years.

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