Remember Trillian, the multi-protocol instant messenger? Well, you may want to consider using it again because it happens to be one of the few IM clients that allows both Windows Live and Skype messaging “out-of-the-box” without any additional plugins needed.
And why should you care about Windows Live and Skype?
A few reasons.
First, Windows Live and Skype command almost 70% of the total instant messaging market share globally.
Second, Facebook is losing popularity as an IM platform due to people abandoning their accounts left and right. No, I don’t have any statistics to prove this; all you need to do is look at your own “friend” list and see how many “blanked” friends there are from those who dropped their accounts. As for which service people are turning to, you would be right if you guessed Windows Live and/or Skype.
Third – and the biggest reason – Microsoft just made Skype available to OEMs for pre-installation on new computers. This means in a short period of time there are going to be a ton of new Skype users out there.
Everyone originally jumped on MSN (what Windows Live used to be called) because it came with Windows back in the day. And now Skype is going to be the next iteration of that.
Why Trillian (again)?
Simple answer. It’s very lightweight, doesn’t require any additional plugins to work as stated above, and also does not require Skype software to be installed to use Skype chat.
Instead, what happens is that Trillian runs the small executable skypekit.exe, which barely takes up any memory and connects to the Skype text chat service easily:
Again, I really want to drive home the point that you don’t need the Skype client installed for this to work. For many of you this will be a very welcome thing, because the Skype client is huge, bloated and slow. Trillian on the other hand isn’t and works great on any computer – even on older, slower PC boxes and laptops.
And of course you can connect up any other instant messenger service you can think of. Facebook, Yahoo!, AIM, Google Talk, etc. Trillian does it all in fine style.
Can’t Pidgin connect to Skype?
Not on its own. You need to add in a plugin like this one for it to work, and it requires the Skype software to be installed to connect properly.
Said once again, Trillian does not need Skype installed to connect to Skype chat.
“But I don’t know anyone that uses Skype”
You will soon enough, so you might as well prepare for it.
If anything, you should at least get yourself a free Skype account. You may not use it now, but in the future when people start bugging to add you to their Skype contact list, you’ll have the account ready for it.
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