Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is a good messenger for company networks? It should be a free, malware and adware free Windows (XP, Vista and 7) program with a simple user interface and small memory footprint. It can be based on an external server (like MSN or ICQ) but I am especially interested if there are solutions that do not need a server (such as a peer-to-peer program).

share|improve this question
Have you tried Skype? – Joseph Weissman Aug 31 '11 at 18:09
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Take a look at Bonjour, which works great for OSX, but there is a Windows implementation and the GPL client Pidgin supports it.

share|improve this answer
On Linux, both Pidgin and Empathy support it via Avahi. – grawity Aug 31 '11 at 16:17
Went for this option, just needs a small driver from Apple: and then works flawlessly in Pidgin! Thanks. Just a note: Bonjour on Pidgin does NOT support offline messages. They also can't be stored locally until the other peer goes online again. – Felix Dombek Sep 2 '11 at 1:36

I've been using Pidgin and it's really great, for my needs. At the workplace we use IRC and gmail/jabber for instant messaging.

Pidgin supports a ton of protocols. Scan down the list and figure out which one seems best for you to support and maintain.

I see Bonjour on the list, which is serverless, but I haven't used it.

share|improve this answer

Miranda IM is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Windows. Very light on system resources and extremely fast, Miranda IM requires no installation and can be made to fit on a single floppy disk or USB drive.

Supported protocols

AIM (AOL Instant Messenger)
IAX (Inter-Asterisk Exchange)
IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
And more...
share|improve this answer

IRC is always a good fallback, channels can be created by department, makes for easy communications with groups, or for those that have to communicate with multiple groups. It does require a server, and depending on what you go with, may require a bit of upfront configuration, but it is a good solid communications tool (and it has been for decades). It is very efficient on both network bandwidth and system resources.

share|improve this answer

Assuming you already have Java installed, then try Mercury. It supports a number of protocols including MSN and XMPP. As a Java program you have added protection from the sandbox and it recognizes Mercury-to-Mercury communications in which case you can have them encrypted.

That is the one I use but I have also used eBuddy which is a webclient MSN. Probably not ideal for a workplace but it does fit the simple and easy part of the request.

share|improve this answer

We used Spark at a previous employer and it seemed to work well.

Another possibility is BitWise. It is geared to organizations and companies and emphasizes security. It is hosted, so I don't think a dedicated server is required.

share|improve this answer
+1 for suggesting two good-looking alternatives that I've never heard of. :) – Felix Dombek Sep 2 '11 at 1:31

We use Skype, because it support group messaging and work in any network. Of course it's free, P2P and crossplatform. Support offline messaging, file sharing and voice chat (when you need it). But it use around 150MB of RAM.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .