Instant Messaging

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Instant messaging consists of a collection of technologies that make possible real-time text-based communication between two or more participants over the internet or any other network.

Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging client created by Microsoft. The service attracts over 330 million active users each month and is the most popular IM client out there. Yahoo! Messenger is also very popular and, luckily, both companies signed an agreement to make both clients compatible. Windows Live Messenger allows you to chat with friends and has a variety of emoticons, winks and buzzes. It includes lots of classic games such as chess, checkers, poker, and more to play with other users.

These clients also allow you to share folders and files with other users, free calls between two computers, free video chat from PC to PC, and calls to any telephone in the world for a fee. You can customize the chat window so it looks as you want, and you can also pick or create an avatar. When sharing files, these programs include a scanner to check for viruses and threats. They will also tell you when other users update their profiles. The videochat quality of the Microsoft client is slightly better than other clients, although the audio might not be perfectly synchronised. Google Talk and Skype are also excellent clients for instant messaging and have similar features but the problem is that most people already have a Microsoft or Yahoo account, so most will probably be using Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger.

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