Installing Digsby without InstallIQ

Back in early 2008, I heard about Digsby. I didn’t tested it at that time but recently I’ve been told that Digbsy got awarded by WebUser. Eventually I decided to give it a try in 2009.

I naturally went on the digsby web site to download the installer. First visit to the Digsby website ever. The experience is *very* pleasant: colorful but not-flashy, engaging color theme with dynamic visual effect while hovering with the mouse over some areas of the home page.After reading through the various information from the home page I clicked on the big Free Download button, I liked to see it transforming into buttons for the supported OS’s (I realized though while writing this article that both Mac and Linux version are not available yet).  Clicking on the button representing the Windows’ logo redirects you to a clean page with yet again a bif “Download Now” button. Hey didn’t I just clicked once (euh actually twice because of the OS selector sequence) and it asks me again to click to install. This frustrated me a bit and I clicked on the big button waiting no more to start downloading Digsby installer.

Clicking on the Download Button causes Firefox to pop up with a download confirmation box.

digsby-ff-popup

Something bizarre just hurt my eyes. Did it to you ? Digsby.exe is downloaded from http://download.freeze.com ! My sensors are now awake. I’m turning into “proceed with caution” mode. I eventually accepted the download. 4.36MB, FireFox said in the Download History window. Mmmm, I bet it is going to be yet again a netinstaller rather that the real install program.

I launched digsby.exe and my second surprise was about the Publisher of digsby.exe: W3i, LLC.  Yet again my sensors were wide open. I eventually clicked on Run.

xp-open_file-security_warning

And now here was the surprise:

installiq-initializing_installation

Do you see something bizarre ? … Of course InstallIQ instead of Digsby!

Huh. I thought I was about to install Digsby. Bad feeling. What the heck is this?

Tadaaa…

digsby-installiq_first_screen

Waw. This first screen is rather crowdy. Digsby will be installed by InstallIQ. Mmm, Okay, so installIQ is the netinstaller. But the piece that definitely put me on hold is this:

I understand by Clicking “Accept” I am agreeing to the InstallIQ Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Why do I need to accept Terms and Conditions as well as Privacy Policy for InstallIQ when I install Digsby. Mmmm… This is rather bizarre. I’m not going to accept before some careful ready here.

I read these as well as the links Lean More and Why is this free?. This is really not smelling good:

  • Learn More told me that InstallIQ creates a key into the registry to uniquely identify you should you cross InstallIQ again that you may uninstall manually the created key. This makes me think that if you uninstall Digsby, that InstallIQ key is very likely to persist ensuring InstallIQ to uniquely identify you later on.
  • Why is this free? indicates that additional but optional software are going to be offered for installation.
  • Terms and Conditions refers to changing my home page and my default search engine to Freeze.com

That was enough for me –> I clicked Cancel. I’m not going to install Digsby on my machine and I’m not going to recommend to any one installing Digsby with such Installer in place.

Oh, by the way, I checked into the registry after cancelling the install (so not having accepted the Terms and Conditions and Data Privacy of InstallIQ)… Guess what!… InstallIQ created and entry with a unique ID in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freeze.com\Installer !

UPDATE (from 09-July-2009): I received a comment from W3i telling this is not longer the case. I went through the same installation sequence again. Indeed, after cancelling the install, the Unique ID is not in the registry anymore but the “folder” HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freeze.com\Installer still is.

Nevertheless being curious I googled to discover more about InstallIQ in the context of Digsby. The least I could read on the official Digsby forum is that a part of Digsby’s user community is not happy with the installIQ approach that Digsby took. Digsby’s developpers also posted on their blog a clarification about the installer.

More importantly I found a blog talking about this and providing a link to install Digsby without InstallIQ.

Should you want to install Digsby without InstallIQ netinstaller, see on this screenshot taken from Digsby’s download page or click here.

digsby_without_installiq-click_here

Now I may decide to install Digsby.

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15 Responses to “Installing Digsby without InstallIQ”


  • Good catch!

    Now what should I do? I did install Digsby using InstallIQ …. what should I do in my registry?

    • Would love to know!

      I stopped the installer before it installed any further but would like to know what to do about the registry pre-install file?

      Digstby is a great program. This is crap.

  • Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

  • I found your blog because I declined the InstallIQ policy and checked that the damn registry key was created anyway. I’m cleaning the spyware right now using Spybot S&D.

  • Due to your feedback we no longer create a registry key when someone cancels out of InstallIQ. We appreciate your pointing this out so it could be corrected.

    Debby at W3i

    • Thanks for sharing this via my blog. I’ve updated my post to take into account this new aspect.

      This proves that you can listen to what people says about InstallIQ, that you made some modification of your product in response to the feedback and, as importantly, that you work to make it visible (closing the loop).

  • Cool!

    Nice demonstration of ‘listening to your customers’!

  • Stumbled across this after trying to uninstall Digsby. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of them storing my usernames and passwords remotely, which I discovered after installation when I was prompted to create an account. The software (which I installed using the InstallIQ installer against my better judgment) will not uninstall. Further, the freeze.com unique identifier appears to have been left on my PC. This was downloaded directly off the website yesterday, so I presume it was the latest built. I just wanted to further clarify that it DOES put the unique identifier on your computer if you do continue on with the installation.

    • Thanks for clarifying this aspect. However Unique ID is part of InstallIQ process. This should not upset you as you read and agreed the TOS, PP and “Learn More” provided by InstallIQ. Should this unique ID remain on your computer after your uninstalled InstallIQ would be unacceptable. I’m sad to read from you that it seems to be.

  • We will look into it immediately.

  • Here’s some info from Kristin, a W3i Product Manager, on use of the Registry Key:

    To introduce myself, my name is Kristin and I am the Product Manager for the InstallIQ product here at W3i. It is one of my responsibilities to listen to the market. I find feedback, like that found on your blog, very important to improve our user experience. I was compelled to write this response to address the concern recently communicated.

    My hope is that I can provide information as to why the registry key is used and what you can do if you continue to be uncomfortable with the use. I truly appreciate this feedback; and if there are any questions remaining, I encourage you to ask.

    What is the registry entry used for? It is used to ensure multiple installs of the same product or offer are not attributed to a single user. You’ll note that InstallIQ recommends applications to users during the installation of a product. If you install another product through the InstallIQ process at a later date, InstallIQ will look for this key to determine if you were through an installation using InstallIQ before. This is done to protect our advertising partners from duplication or potential abuse (albeit unintentional), to keep users from seeing the same application recommended over and over, and to make sure publishers, like Digsby, have the best revenue opportunity. In order for this to work as intended, we keep it installed, even if the applications are uninstalled.

    So what can you do right now? At any time you may delete this key and nothing will happen to your installed applications. While I understand this is not optimal, we are always refining our process to ensure that it meets the needs of everyone involved–users, advertisers and publishers.

    You have my word as the Product Manager for InstallIQ that we work very hard to make this the best experience for everyone and ensure that everyone’s best interests are at the forefront. I take this feedback very seriously. Please let me know if you have any questions; I’m happy to engage in a discussion!

    Thanks again! Kristin

  • There is an installer without the craprware its the original one from Digsby and on their servers.

    Aaron
    Digsby Developer

    Or you could just use this installer if the other one irks you so much:

    http://update.digsby.com/install/digsby_setup.exe

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