It is a hard decision to make when it comes to Instant Messaging for Mac. The popular Windows Live Messenger that I am currently using on one of my Windows PCs is still the best in my mind although I’ve managed to contact the Windows Live team via Twitter and they were unable to comment on when a new full version would be available for Mac.
So, with this new information in mind I went about attempting to search for the best software available for Mac OSX. I have previously used aMSN but everyone I’ve spoken to who has used it (including me) have agreed that it is painfully slow – so this was a no go straight away.
Mercury Messenger was my next choice. Again I’ve also tested this as have other people I know, although it runs on Java. And in my mind this slows it down. Starting it up takes a long time but I’ve had reports that when it’s used it runs reasonably well. Not for me though – I find the interface quite ugly and non-Mac like! It does have Web Cam support though, which is a bonus. Whether it has support for sound too I’m not too sure about.
The third choice is Adium – a fully native Mac Instant Messaging client, and although it doesn’t have support for web cam at the minute, you can use it as a client for nearly every protocol out there, and they are bringing web cam support soon…
Out of all the clients out there I’d stick with Adium on Mac for the time being. If you’re that desparate to use web cam too, use Skype – it’s also free. Or, if your friends also have Mac – use iChat, it comes free with any Mac installation and provides web cam support with sound and video as well (not leaving out the fact that you can also use it as an AIM client)
Let me know if you know, or come across any other decent IM clients for Mac.
Update: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 8 Beta is now available. Click here!