There are quite a few applications out there that allow us to hold a text, voice or video chat with one another.
Here are the most popular of the bunch.
|Windows Live Messenger (v2009)Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) has been around for a while and has gone through a lot of cosmetic as well as under the hood changes over the years. While I personally think that they have bloated it a bit with some unnecessary add-ons, it is still my software of choice for normal text chats. Supports text, voice and video chatting (and other features) and overall quality is good.||Download Link|
|Yahoo Messenger (v10)Yahoo Messenger, like Windows Live Messenger, has been around for many years now. Like Windows Live Messenger, I believe that Yahoo Messenger has its fair share of bloat, but remains very popular amongst a large number of users. Supports text, voice and video chatting (and other features) and overall quality is good.||Download Link|
|Google TalkAll things Google tend to become popular overnight and Google Talk is no exception. HOWEVER, amongst the four applications listed here, Google Talk has the least number of features and I haven’t seen a major revision in a long time. Still, its a simple yet solid application with good sound quality when doing voice calls. It does not support video chatting, except if you use the Gmail web interface and has the video chatting plug-in installed.||Download Link|
|SkypeSkype has become the most popular tool for voice/video calls over the Internet. It has all the features that the other 3 has, but differentiates itself by offering users the ability to call not just PC to PC, but also to land lines and mobile phones worldwide at very cheap rates. Needless to say, most telephone service providers are not happy with Skype because a major portion of revenue for telco giants come from steep long distance charges that are levied on customers. In many countries, users cannot even download the software as all Skype (and related) websites are blocked.||Download Link 1Download Link 2|