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||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2015)|
Type of site
|Available in||Dutch, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Polish, arabic, English, Japanese, Bulgarian, Swedish and others|
|Created by||Tomás Diago|
|188 (April 2014[update])|
Softonic.com is a software and app discovery portal based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and founded in 1997. It reaches over 100 million users per month and at its height of popularity, delivered more than 6 million downloads per day.
Softonic started in 1997 as a file-oriented download service called Shareware Intercom, at Intercom Online (Grupo Intercom), a provider of Internet services in Cerdanyola del Vallès, near Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Originally files for the website came from the "Files Library Intercom BBS" at Intercom Online, using a "5-step semi-automated process", which was later greatly simplified. The company also offered monthly CDs of its software library for users tired of "having to wait for downloads to complete or pay exorbitant phone bills." In 1999, the service was described as having a "generosity of games, antivirus, education and the long, seductive etcetera." In 2000, the company became independent under the name Softonic. In 2004, Softonic was made available in German, and in 2005, English. Initially the service was oriented only to downloads of DOS and Windows software, but it evolved to offer software downloads for Mac and mobile platforms. Softonic was listed as the "Best place to work in Spain (100-250 employees)" in an annual study by the Great Place to Work Institute, in 2009-2011, and as second-best in 2008. In 2009 and 2011, the site was listed as having the most unique visitor traffic in Spain by audit bureau OJD Interactiva.
At the end of 2014, Softonic announced that a headcount reduction procedure would be carried out as a cost-cutting measure, allegedly due to financial, productional and organizational reasons. In December, the company formalized the dismissal of 156 employees, against the initial estimation of 207.
Softonic experimented with a number of distribution techniques between 2009 and 2015, including development of the "Softonic Toolbar", a Windows-only 4MB web browser add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer which provided company-specific content, online services, and streamed music.[not in citation given] Downloads hosted by Softonic were accompanied by a customized "Softonic Downloader" which showed commercial offers, including the Softonic Toolbar. During this time, the site was severely criticised for its downloads installing adware even if the user opted out of its installation.
Following the announcement of Scott Arpajian as the new CEO in February 2015, Softonic announced that it would immediately cease utilizing the Softonic Downloader as part of its "Clean and Safe" software initiative, and downloads no longer include the Softonic Toolbar.
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