"Since its early days, instant messaging has coalesced around
four big players, the 400 lb. gorillas of IM: AOL, MSN, Yahoo and
ICQ. Each service has its own proprietary features and client under
Windows, and to date, none of the big four cooperate with each
other. So if you choose ICQ, and some of your friends use Yahoo,
chances are, youll never get to instant message them unless you
also download and install the Yahoo client. (Recent news seems to
point to an eventual convergence of IM protocols and a general mood
of cooperation seems to be changing the outlook for the future of
"So whats a GNU/Linux user to do? Is there an alternative to
these proprietary clients? Can GNU/Linux users even join the IM
"Of course they can."
"In this article series, we're going to take a look at some of
the IM clients available for GNU/Linux and rate them. Were also
going to look at some of the new universal clients available for
GNU/Linux that let you use AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ all at the same
time, with only one client. In Part 1 of this series, we'll look at
the AOL IM service and the Linux clients available."
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