For all accounts except for Windows Live Messenger, I’ve been using meebo as my primary IM client. It was convenient, useful and generally pretty fast, especially when I switched over to using Firefox as my primary browser. While generally a good product, my computer started to bog down with Firefox eating 500+ megs of memory regularly. Running Facebook, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and meebo all at the same time just made Firefox consume resources like there was no end in sight, and meebo was the primary consumer (as far as I could tell).
Thus last night, I downloaded and installed Pidgin (aka GAIM). It’s the first time I’ve given this open source IM client a try since 2000, when it destroyed my AIM buddy last (I have yet to find all the screennames I lost from that fiasco). Now, seven years later, the product is pretty amazing. It works with all the major IM services (I’m connecting to Yahoo, Windows Live, Google, and AIM), the UI is clean and unobtrusive, it supports features like file transfer, status updates and email notifications and best of all, it’s fast and light (only 17 megs of memory consumed).
While I love some Web 2.0 replacements for my desktop applications (e.g. Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail vs Outlook/Thunderbird), I think they have a way to go until they reach the level that I don’t get frustrated. In this instance, the desktop application is quicker, faster, and lighter than the web app. Until the web apps bridge that void I think desktop apps have a long life yet.