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Getting the message

Instant messaging now provides valuable business communications. And your Linux system can play with the big boys with the right client software.

Once the domain of 13-year-olds, instant messaging (IM) now provides valuable business communications. Many companies, especially those with multiple office locations, take advantage of the ability to see who is online and to chat instantly with colleagues.

Some companies run their own chat servers, but quite a few use services such as Yahoo! or MSN, the Microsoft network. Unfortunately, the main MSN client, MSN Messenger, does not support Linux. Even so, your Linux system can play with the big boys with the right client software.

Popular MSN clients include Alvaro’s Messenger (amsn) and Galaxium Messenger. Alvaro’s Messenger has remained popular for a number of years. This MSN client has been translated into 40 or so languages, including Basque, Frisian, and Slovenian. Alvaro’s Messenger is written in the Tcl/Tk scripting language, so it can run on any system that supports Tcl/Tk, such as Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X.

Galaxium Messenger, provides a .NET-based MSN client, using the Mono toolkit. Mono includes a full .NET programming environment, including the .NET Common Language Runtime, for Linux and other operating systems.

In addition to MSN-only clients, you can choose from a number of multi-protocol clients.

Gaim provides the main Linux IM client. Available at this site, gaim comes with many Linux distributions, including Fedora >http://fedora.redhat. com

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