Mac users are lucky to have Adium, one of the best IM aggregation tools on the planet. On the Windows and Linux side, there are many options, but Anil Dash says Pidgin (formerly GAIM) rocks, and is following the trajectory taken by Firefox, the open source browser.
Pidgin, formerly GAIM, is the best instant messaging client available; It works with all common IM networks, supports extensions and customizations through plugins, has smart and simple default settings, runs on all common desktop platforms, and is a free open source application. Being so similar to Firefox in so many ways, this leaves the application poised to become the “Firefox of IM”.
In comparison to Trillian, Pidgin totally rocks. However, since I have spent little time with this application so far, I am not going to make a judgement call – just yet.
In a field crowded with proprietary, confusing clients that are tied to individual networks, Pidgin reflects the reality that all of us are connected to more than one network. And despite the rush to try to convert all desktop applications into Ajax-powered web equivalents, there is still ample proof from Firefox’s example that powerful, smart, extensible desktop applications are an essential part of the Internet’s evolution as well.
Previously: IM – the last desktop app standing.