If you are looking for a straightforward, streamlined, and universal instant messenging client that is compatible with the likes of AIM, ICW, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN Messenger and others, then give Pidgin a try.
I started to use Pidgin out of the need to instantly communicate with my daughter on Yahoo. Instead of downloading the Yahoo messaging client, I went with Pidgin and have not regretted it since. It does the basics (text chatting) of what I want it to do without having to deal with a proprietary instant messaging client that has a convoluted array of “bells and whistles” that I do not need or want; PLUS, Pidgin’s streamline approach eliminates the need to install multiple chat clients on my PC.
Another selling factor to me about Pidgin is that there is a portable version available; which means I can take it with me on my flash drive. Pidgin is open source software that can be enhanced using a variety of plugins to enhance your chat experience by keeping the spam away, encrypting your conversations, connecting to social networks, etc.
Pidgin is a chat program which lets you log in to accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on MSN, talking to a friend on Google Talk, and sitting in a Yahoo chat room all at the same time.
Pidgin is free and contains no ads. All code is open source and licensed under the GNU General Public License. This means you can get Pidgin’s underlying code and modify it to suit your needs, as long as you publish the changes you make for everyone to benefit from as well.
Supported chat networks:
AIM – Bonjour – Gadu-Gadu – Google Talk –Groupwise – ICQ – IRC – MSN – MySpaceIM – QQ – SILC – SIMPLE – Sametime – XMPP – Yahoo! – Zephyr