Adium and Pidgin, the popular multi-network IM clients popular on OS X and Linux, lacks support for many features of MSN Messenger, such as webcams,
audio conversations, voice clips and winks. This can prove to be annoying if the other party of the conversation wants to conference but lacks software such as Skype.
aMSN is an open-source intant messaging client available for Linux, OS X, FreeBSD and Windows (if you dislike the proprietary client) which supports many features specifically on the MSN network which Adium and Pidgin do not.
The client can handle most features which WLM can, excluding MSN Zone Games. aMSN is much more customisable than Windows Live Messenger too, with dozens of plugins and skins being available.
aMSN lacks the ability to connect to networks besides MSN but if you are in Adium and Pidgin and a situation arises when you may want to use a webcam, aMSN does not take long to load and it is much quicker than booting into Windows.
Update 19th October: aMSN does not yet support audio conversations
Update 2: aMSN2 is about to be released. It is a complete rewrite of the program in python using the papyon framework to connect to Microsoft Network servers. The current available version has been updated since the time of the first review. The feature list includes new features such as conferencing support, event alarms, group support, multiple accounts, webcam support and offline messaging. Plugins are available in addition that extend the functionality of the messenger further. A few dozen plugins are listed on the aMSN project website, from automatic translators to additional emoticons and games, or desktop integration.
The messaging software furthermore supports skins that you can download to give the interface of the program a new look. About 50 or so themes are currently available on the project website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.