Bonzi Buddy is a desktop helper that was created by Joe and Jay Bonzi. It was released in 1999 and then discontinued in 2004. The official website of Bonzi Buddy says that it can help people to explore the internet by using a wide variety of functions along with their own sidekick. Based on the choice of the user, the agent on the screen will share facts and jokes, manage downloading by using its download manager, sing songs and the other functions. You can do Bonzi Buddy download to use this program.
This software uses the technology of Microsoft Agent that is the same with Office Assistant and originally shows Peedy that is a green parrot and one of the characters available with Microsoft Agent. Then, the next versions of Bonzi Buddy has its own character namely Bonzi that is gorilla with its purple body. The program used a text to speech voice to interact with the users. The voice was called Sydney and taken from an old Lernout & Hauspie Microsoft Speech API 4.0 package. Several versions of the software were described as spyware. After discontinuation, the homepage of Bonzi stayed open and then the site disappeared at the end of 2008.
Some sources identify BonziBuddy as spyware, a claim the company conflicts. Then, in 2002, an article in Consumer Reports Web Watch labelled it as spyware claiming that it has substance a backdoor trojan in that because it collects information from the users. The program is claimed to take part include constantly resetting the web browser homepage of the users to bonzi.com without the approval of the users, leading and tracking any kind information about the users and also serving advertisements.
The Spyware Removal Database at Safer Networking states that Bonzi Buddy is a toolbar of Internet Explorer which possibly change the settings of your web browser, change your home page, and also launch pop up ads while it is tracking your web browsing habits. Trend Micro and Symantec have categorized the software as adware. Spyware Guide’s entry on the program also states that it is adware. For your information, you can have Bonzi Buddy Plush which is available in online stores.
Some criticisms about the existence of Bonzi Buddy came up. In April 2007, the readers of PC World voted Bonzi Buddy 6th on a list of The 20 Most Annoying Tech Products. One of the readers was quoted because criticizing the program since it kept popping up and obscuring things that you need to see. Besides, one of the last newspapers wrote about Bonzi Buddy when it was still in distribution and described it as spyware and a scourge of the internet. Then, another article also came up in 2006 on the website of Business Week and described Bonzi Buddy as the unbelievably annoying spyware trojan horse. Some people call it as Bonzi Buddy virus.
The settlement of a class action suit on 27 May 2003 was reported by internetnews.com. Naturally brought towards the software of Bonzi in 2002, the suit blamed Bonzi because it used its banner ad to imitate Windows computer alerts, alerting the user that their IP address is being broadcast. Bronzi coincided to change their ads so they looked less like Windows dialog boxes and more like ads.