I’ve been using Trillian 3 Pro since it came out. It’s okay but I have problems with it’s stability and I suspect that AOL updated their protocol and Trillian has not kept up. Upgrading to Vista did not help, Trillian routinely crashes and I can’t get any spell check plug-in to work.
The appeal of Trillian is that instead of running multiple clients which are loaded with advertisements (I am a huge user of AdBlock Plus) I get to run an IM client that supports all those protocols and it has no ads.
The free IM client
GAIM Pidgin is that way too except it really has kept up with the protocols. The current version 2.0.0 beta 7 runs well in Vista and looks good. I’m using it now for AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Google Talk. AFAIK it does not support the whiz bang features of video and voice. Since I don’t use those features anyway I’m not missing out.
The first thing the beta does is update my GTK+ installation. Good thing since the existing installation worked badly in Vista. I ran the defaults and installed Aspell also. The spell checker does the red squiggly line underneath words I misspell; important to me since I hate when people use “r u there” or “c u l8r”.
I know it’s instant messaging but do people have to kill the language that way…?
Pidgin comes with sounds for events such as when contacts log on or off, when a message is recieved or sent, etc. It supports plug-ins for things like setting window transparency, conversation color, iconify on away, and so on.
It’s all well thought out from a development that has been going on for months (not counting the issue with AOL and re-branding the product) and is a really good replacement for Yahoo, AOL, and Micosoft’s IM clients. When 2.0.0 is released in a week or two I’ll dump Trillian 3 Pro and just use Pidgin.