Multi-client software

How many services and clients are we expected to deal with every day ?
How long is it reasonable to hang onto using a piece of software for that 1 contact or network you connected with 10 years ago ?

First we will start with the obvious.
Internet messengers.

First the easiest to use but with the least amount of networks, but the most amount of OS support.
Trillian IM
Supported networks.
Astra, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Jabber/XMPP, Olark, IRC, IMAP/POP email.
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Web.

Times have changed and Trillian is now HIPPA compliant, aimed at business and can be self-hosted for more privacy and control.
Still available for general use as a free version

Next easiest to use is @Leo’s old love Pidgin, which did not abandon him. Leo has wandered off and forgotten what he came in for.
What ?
I am not going to list the plugins and network support as it is long, but if it does not support it you probably don’t need it (yes it supports skype)
Free, Open Source and available for Windows and Linux

Fairly equal to pidgin as it is based on the same libpurple framework, is the Macintosh option Adium
Free and open source, with plenty of plugins and networks

Miranda-NG is a powerful contender to the throne, again free and open source but only for Windows.
More networks and plugins than you can shake a stick at, but can be an overload of nerdyness to configure.

Franz is the newbie on the block I have never tried.
Commercial but with a very limited free option with adverts, no spellchecker, and you pick 3 networks from over 70 (what a bunch of tight-wads).
If you are suckered into the monthly subscriptions you may have a very useful client, but in my opinion they should offer one-off lifetime pricing like Trillian does.
Within a year you’ll pay more than you would to “own” Trillian forever.
If you are paying a subscription for a service, being asked to pay for another subscription to access your first subscription is a muggs game for people with more money than sense.

Ripcord is a worthy entry due to some extra features.
Combined Slack and Discord client, but still Alpha and not feature complete but has features the real clients also lack, such as music quality stereo audio, and VU meters
Currently free but the Slack side of the equation is going to be commercial. Discord access will stay free.
Built with Qt5 and branches for Windows, Mac and Linux. this client will save you a huge amount of RAM compared to the original, and as a bonus for Linux users will actually stay running instead of keep crashing.

And I still have multiple messengers on my phone - Messages (SMS and iMessage), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype (often used as an IM). Oh, and then there’s Slack, Teams, Zoom, and Skype for Business.

Things haven’t improved.

i agree that XMPP is the way to go as it is an universal open source decentralized standard.

its been around since the 90ties but somehow its finding very litte mainstream adaption, everyone is trying to create a walled garden network so they control the access, push users to their adaptions.

some times you wonder why (mostly wallstreet) compagnies limit and still use proprietary solutions, seems like the intelligence agencies lobbied them to weaken security so they have plenty back doors and attack factors. to spy and control mass media communications.

zimmermann ZRTP is the encryption part of that platform. setup properly they are as good as or even better than any proprietary platform, and the best part is anyone can use it freely.

Good one. This is what I thought with VoIP as well. Almost all of those platforms support SRTP even if they do not yet support ZRTP. TLS however is still the key part of the equation especially across different domains.

Yeah for a while many IM solutions were just a branded front end powered by XMPP.
2 biggies being Google and Facebook, which they still have support for.
Once you realised what was underneath you could use whatever XMPP account you already have, which exemplifies the idea of “1 ring to bind them, 1 ring to rule them all” even more than a multi-client tool.

Cerulean Studios also agree about open networks, so their own Astra IMPP is an open source option available for anyone to use.
Not sure of the advantages over XMPP, but I can’t help feeling maybe they just reinvented a wheel.