In a move that's likely too little, too late, uTorrent has decided to stop bundling crapware with its (once) popular BitTorrent client. While it hasn't come up with an alternative just yet, the developer plans to be more "open and transparent" as it considers its options.
This post was originally published on Lifehacker Australia.
A post on the software's official forums by "The uTorrent Team" outlines the developer's desire for change:
For the past several months, we've had internal conversations around how we can create a better uTorrent experience. Specifically, we want to find a way to improve uTorrent for our customers while financially supporting the amazing team that works every day to make uTorrent great.
As you know, uTorrent is a free piece of software. To support it, we use bundled software and offers to offset the cost that would otherwise be paid directly by the user. This is a familiar revenue model that is commonly used by software companies. It allows us to fund the costs associated with software development, as well as other projects and innovations.
It goes on to mention that the team has "never been satisfied" by the bundled software approach and that it "requires compromises" to the user experience it is no longer willing to make. It all sounds a bit product market-y, but at least uTorrent has admitted in some form that it goofed.
There's no mention what it plans to replace the bundling with, other than the following comment:
Provide our users with clear options for supporting uTorrent (with options for every budget)
Which suggests something tiered is on the cards.
The problem is the damaged may already be done. With great alternatives including qBitTorrent, Deluge and Transmission available — alternatives that gained even more traction once uTorrent started bundling software — it's going to be hard to not only win back the trust of users (especially after the Bitcoin miner debacle), but convince them to swap clients again.