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Best Free Software 12: Multi-platform Instant Messaging with Pidgin, Miranda and Instantbird

Pidgin symbol
Pidgin symbol

The Pidgin multi-platform messenger is something that has been indispensable for years. I use it, just that one messenger to chat with & be alerted about mail from several services, including Yahoo, MSN (Live/Hotmail), Google/Gmail, AOL/AIM and ICQ. You can can however use this one client to chat with lots of friends on many more clients all at once(!). Furthermore, I mostly use the “portable” version of Pidgin, which is installed on a USB drive and can be used on different PCs.

This is what is said by creator:

Pidgin is compatible with the following chat networks out of the box: AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MXit, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr. It can support many more with plugins.

Pidgin
Pidgin

Pidgin supports many features of these chat networks, such as file transfers, away messages, buddy icons, custom smilies, and typing notifications. Numerous plugins also extend Pidgin’s functionality above and beyond the standard features.

So, if you want, after downloading and installation, you can go ahead to add Yahoo messenger ID & password, also for different accounts, like pidginchatter09, homersimpson23, etc, via the Manage accounts =>

  • Click “Add” and Select one of the “protocols”, which is in this case “Yahoo”.
  • Add Yahoo messenger ID/username & password. “Remember” password if you want to avoid having to log in yourself everytime & if you are the only one with access to that account.
  • You can include a local alias if you want
  • If you want email notifications & to include the buddy icon you use for that Yahoo messenger account, check the respective checkboxes and “Add”.

Do the same for as many of the other “protocols”, whether Google chat, Jabber, MSN/Live, ICQ as you like.

Next time you start Pidgin, it will automatically log in to all the accounts at ago, if you chose to “remember” the password.

You can choose any of the available statuses, like “invisible”, “available”, etc as the default.

So from now on, you can chat with any or all of those buddies you have on all those platforms at a go, or keep an eye on them as you multitask.

System requirements

Pidgin runs on Windows, Linux and other UNIX operating systems.

Download

Alternatives

Miranda Instant messenger

Miranda
Miranda

This what the maker says:

Miranda IM is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Windows. Very light on system resources and extremely fast, Miranda IM requires no installation and can be made to fit on a single floppy disk or USB drive. Featuring a powerful plugin-based framework and boasting over 350 plugins, Miranda IM is one of the most flexible and customizable messaging clients on the planet. To see how some of our users have customized Miranda IM, check out the screenshot section.

Miranda IM works with AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Facebook, Gadu-Gadu, IAX (Inter-Asterisk Exchange), ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN, Netsend, Tlen, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Facebook, Gadu-Gadu, IAX (Inter-Asterisk Exchange), ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN, Netsend, Tlen, Yahoo and more.

System requirements

Miranda runs on a whole range of Windows operating systems, right from Win 95 to Win 7

Download

Instant Bird

Instantbird
Instantbird

Instant bird is another portable, multi-platform instant messenger with which you can chat with friends using a wide range of messengers, all at the same time, using just one messenger. The platforms include MSN (live), Yahoo, ICQ, Google talk, Twitter, Facebook and IRC.

System requirements

There are versions of that instant bird for Windows, Mac X OS and Linux.

Download

All these messengers have a sizeable range of add-ons with which their functionality can be extended.

There are of course other multi-platform instant messengers but I will name Trillian.