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Lime Wire upgrades P2P software

The file-sharing company assures users that version 4.0 of its software is completely free of spyware.

Internet file-swapping company Lime Wire on Tuesday said it launched a new version of its peer-to-peer software that offers better search capabilities and is completely free from spyware.

LimeWire version 4.0 includes a "What's New" search function that lets users track down the most recent content additions. It also offers proxy support and a display that shows artist, album and other details.

In addition, the company assured users that spyware won't be installed on their machines when they download the upgrade. Spyware is a slippery term that often refers to programs that act without a PC user's knowledge to take unwanted actions including tracking Web-surfing behavior, delivering ads and stealing passwords.

"Users have asked for a guarantee that when they download software, it will not be bundled with anything they haven't asked for," Lime Wire Chief Operating Officer Greg Bildson said in a statement. "We have responded to this request. LimeWire 4.0 is completely free of bundling or spyware."

Spyware is typically bundled with free file-sharing software such as Kazaa and Grokster. Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require companies using spyware to get permission from computer users before installing the software on their machines.

File-sharing software also has recently come under fire by the Federal Trade Commission and legislators, who say that it poses a threat to consumers and children in the form of mislabeled content such as pornography.

Lime Wire, founded in June 2000, said it has 2 million monthly users.