"Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication
between two or more individuals based on typed text. The text is
conveyed via devices connected over a network such as the
"There are a number of different instant messaging protocols
which are used by the major networks. The primary ones are XMPP
(used by Google Talk, Jabber etc), AOL Instant Messenger (AIM),
ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger (formerly called MSN
Messenger), and the venerable Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The IM
clients featured in this article either cater for as many different
networks as possible, or focus on a small subset.
"Now, let's explore the 12 IM clients at hand. For each title we
have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an
in-depth analysis of its features, screenshot, together with links
to relevant resources and reviews."