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Old 01-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #1
Fardringle
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Default Alternatives to replace MSN Messenger

One of my small office clients uses MSN Messenger frequently to send quick messages around the office ("You have a call", "I have a question", etc.) and it works very well for their needs, but now that Microsoft is shutting down the service they asked me to find something they can use as a replacement.

The easy answer would be to simply have them move to Skype since that is what Microsoft is pushing as the replacement. However, the insurance agency management system that the office uses does not play nice if Skype is installed. That's a fault of the agency manager and not Skype, but still it means that Skype is not an option. Searching online doesn't give many alternatives except AIM and Yahoo Chat, neither of which look very promising mostly due to pretty widespread claims of poor support and a large population of spammers (even more than MSN).

A simple messenging client that I could set up locally with a 'server' running on their domain controller or one of the workstations would work just fine, but they don't have much of a budget for this (the boss wants free if possible) so the choices are pretty limited.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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This looks interesting, but it requires Win7+

https://squiggle.codeplex.com/
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #3
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Ah, thank you for the reminder. Some of the computers in this office run Windows 7, but most have Windows XP Pro, so any solution needs to be able to run on Windows 7 and XP.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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This may be a little more featured than you're looking for, but it should do what you want, and much more.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/officesip/
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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We use OpenFire in our office (http://www.igniterealtime.org/projects/openfire/). It will work with any Jabber client.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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Do they happen to be using an AMS or Applied agency management program?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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Google Talk
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compman25 View Post
Do they happen to be using an AMS or Applied agency management program?
They are using Applied Agency Manager (TAM), which does have a very basic IM feature built in but it is so buggy that even Applied support says not to use it..
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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StickIt:
http://www.singerscreations.com/StickIt.asp
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oil View Post
Google Talk
I don't know how I missed that in my searching, but it definitely fits what they need. Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
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I was gonna suggest the same thing--Google Talk. We were on TAMonline and have moved to Applied's Epic.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fardringle View Post
One of my small office clients uses MSN Messenger frequently to send quick messages around the office ("You have a call", "I have a question", etc.) and it works very well for their needs, but now that Microsoft is shutting down the service they asked me to find something they can use as a replacement.

The easy answer would be to simply have them move to Skype since that is what Microsoft is pushing as the replacement. However, the insurance agency management system that the office uses does not play nice if Skype is installed...

A simple messenging client that I could set up locally with a 'server' running on their domain controller or one of the workstations would work just fine, but they don't have much of a budget for this (the boss wants free if possible) so the choices are pretty limited.
Microsoft IM for businesses is not Skype or Messenger but Lync.
Office 365 includes Lync
Have you evaluated using this?
For a small office running an in-house server to do IM is a bad idea, adding a lot of setup, management and infrastructure costs.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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We recently moved from Messenger to Lync where I work. It is hands down better than Messenger. I am actually surprised MS is pushing Skype?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:31 PM   #14
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Try pidgin, not a big guy with graphics but gets the job done on messaging.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:29 PM   #15
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I appreciate the suggestions for Lync, but while it looks like a nice product, the price is way out of the available budget that the owner has for what really is just a convenience. I think I'll show him the Google Chat option and see what he thinks, then offer Lync as an alternative if he doesn't want to use the Google app. Thanks again for the help!

p.s. nikomaster, Pidgin is a great client program, but it only connects to existing messaging services. It doesn't provide any chat/IM services on its own.
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"I invented distributed computing." - Al Gore
"I had a dream where every American would be free to run SETI@Home!" - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Greendale is a bodaciously small town, Lane... I can't even Find-A-Drug here!" - Charles De Mar (Better Off Dead)
"I did not have BOINC relations with that woman, Rosetta@Home!" - Bill Clinton
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fardringle View Post
I appreciate the suggestions for Lync, but while it looks like a nice product, the price is way out of the available budget that the owner has for what really is just a convenience. I think I'll show him the Google Chat option and see what he thinks, then offer Lync as an alternative if he doesn't want to use the Google app. Thanks again for the help!

p.s. nikomaster, Pidgin is a great client program, but it only connects to existing messaging services. It doesn't provide any chat/IM services on its own.
And I bet they want to attach messages every once in awhile to clients and TAM only integrates with certain products.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #17
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we've been using Jabber (via Pidgin) for years at work... no real complaints about it.

we're currently in the midst of transitioning to Lync, but only because it's got options like desktop sharing.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #18
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google talk via pidgin.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:13 AM   #19
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I was going to suggest Nimbuzz, but Nimbuzz just stopped supporting MSN Messenger.

It seems like you've already had your question answered awhile ago, but just in case it would benefit other people with this question, you might want to look up IMO Messenger. It was created by a former Google engineer and his brother and it works via the web. I don't know if you are against a web-only alternative or if you're looking for an actual app, but that's another alternative.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #20
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Miranda
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:15 PM   #21
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I wonder if when they merge with skype if there will be a more corporate version?
not sure why they don't just put all of the skype stuff in lync and then make 2 versions, one for business and one for consumer.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #22
elgringorrible
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Smile My alternative

Hi all,

I'm also sad that MSN shuts down. And I couldn't find anything good enough to replace it. That's why I'm developing my own alternative : www.gulfan.com.

It's still in beta stage but it already works well. It has several advantages :

- It is a web messenger, so there's no download or installation required. Just log in and chat. It's cross-platform, cross-browser (except the tumbledown Internet Explorer 7-8 of course ). It saves all your preferences and your history automatically.

- On-the-fly translation from and to 10 languages thanks to Google Translate

- Already available in 5 languages

- Offline messages and file transfer (you get the file your contact sent you, even if you were offline when they did)

- 200+ great smileys

- One-click log in with your Google or Facebook account

- URL reduction (gracefully reduces ugly 8-lines long URLs)

- Security and privacy : nothing is locally stored. No user name, no e-mail address, no password, no history stored on the computer. Just two things : the anonymous user ID and an encrypted token, to secure client-server requests.

- Still under development, many other features to come. And it's free, of course.

I hope people will like it Cheers
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