ExtremeTech took a look at six free multi-service IM clients. There's no Yahoo Messenger, AIM or Windows Live Messenger in this roundup, instead they take a look at some more alternative IM clients like Adium, eBuddy, meebo, Meetro, Pidgin and Trillian.
Many of them even add their own tricks. Meetro, for example, mingles location info with IM, and meebo is a purely web-based client (or should we say "Web 2.0-based"?), eBuddy adds a mobile phone version, and Adium gives Mac users a free, highly customizable, multi-service option.
We looked for features like services supported, tabbed message windows, grouped buddy lists, message history, chat text formatting, group chat, and interface customization. Read on to find out whether you'd be better served by using one of these enticing alternatives than that bloated standard IM client.