Six Free Multiservice IM Clients

Review: You don't have to run three IM applications just because you have AIM, Yahoo and MSN Messenger accounts. These free software and online clients let you combine all and add some new twists. (ExtremeTech)

Tired of all the ads on AIM? Want access to more services than just Yahoo? There are lots of IM client choices besides the big three—AIM, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger).

The software we examine here lets you hook into any of these three services, and usually more besides, like Jabber. Not all of these applications will offer all of the features youll find on the big guys—video and voice chat come to mind—but most of them do a good job of unobtrusively keeping you in contact with your comrades.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about the instant messaging boom.

Many of them even add their own tricks. Meetro, for example, mingles location info with IM, and Meebo is a purely Web-based client (or should we say "Web 2.0-based"?), eBuddy adds a mobile phone version, and Adium gives Mac users a free, highly customizable, multi-service option. Heres the whole list of products we put through their paces:

  • Adium
  • eBuddy
  • Meebo
  • Meetro
  • Pidgin
  • Trillian

We looked for features like services supported, tabbed message windows, grouped buddy lists, message history, chat text formatting, group chat and interface customization. Read on to find out whether youd be better served by using one of these enticing alternatives than that bloated standard IM client.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead the full story on ExtremeTech: Six Free Multiservice IM Clients

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