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BonziBuddy facts for kids

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Bonzi Buddy.png
Developer(s) Bonzi Software, Inc.
Initial release 1999
Stable release
4.1 / 2005 (2005)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Virtual Assistant, Adware, Spyware, Malware
License Freeware

BonziBuddy ( bon-zee-bud-ee or bon-zih-bud-ee, stylized as BonziBUDDY) was a freeware desktop virtual assistant created by Joe and Jay Bonzi. Upon a user's choice, it would share jokes and facts, manage downloads, sing songs, and talk, among other functions, as it used Microsoft Agent.

BonziBuddy was described as spyware and adware, and discontinued in 2004 after the company behind it faced lawsuits regarding the software and was ordered to pay fines. Bonzi's website remained open after the discontinuation of BonziBuddy, but was shut down at the end of 2008.


The software used Microsoft Agent technology similar to Office Assistant, and originally sported Peedy, a green parrot and one of the characters available with Microsoft Agent. Later versions of BonziBuddy in May 2000 featured its own character: Bonzi, a purple gorilla. The program also used a text-to-speech voice to interact with the user. The voice was called Sydney and taken from an old Lernout & Hauspie Microsoft Speech API 4.0 package. It is often referred to in some software as Adult Male #2.

A number of sources identify BonziBuddy as spyware, a claim the company disputed. In 2002, an article in Consumer Reports Web Watch labeled BonziBuddy as spyware, stating that it contains a backdoor trojan that collects information from users. The activities the program is said to engage in include constantly resetting the user's web browser homepage to without the user's permission, prompting and tracking various information about the user, installing a toolbar, and serving advertisements.

Trend Micro and Symantec have both classified the software as adware. Spyware Guide's entry on the program also states that it is adware.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bonzi Buddy para niños

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