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I don't like Skype for a zillion of reasons. But I'm "forced" to use it. Is there an alternative client out there for Windows? Voice or video chat doesn't have to work, just the IM part would be sufficient.

Any suggestions?

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closed as not constructive by random Feb 13 '12 at 15:04

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Related question: superuser.com/questions/5774/… –  onnodb Nov 25 '09 at 12:06
Are you able to use an old version? I've replaced Skype with Gtalk, but if I had to use Skype I'd go back a version or few. –  tobylane Feb 9 '11 at 13:35
maybe of interest to some of u: skype-open-source.blogspot.com/2011/06/… –  Chris Jun 2 '11 at 20:57
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6 Answers

up vote 28 down vote accepted

No there isn't, the skype protocol is closed and never was published. Also the binary is encrypted so even reverse enginering doesn't work.

There are some alternative UI's, which require Skype running in backgound but offer another user interface. I know some Instant Messengers got plugins for Skype (to control skype). For example Miranda does this.

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Pidgin has a plugin too :) eion.robbmob.com –  Joril Nov 25 '09 at 12:34
@Joril: Q: Does this plugin require Skype to be running? A: Yes. –  Chris Nov 25 '09 at 13:11
I believe pidgin (or 'gaim' at the time) used to work with Skype, but that may have been with Skype running in the background. –  ing0 Sep 6 '12 at 14:33
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https://imo.im/ supports Skype, and is web-based. As mentioned in this answer.

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I can't talk to skype user using imo.im :) –  nXqd Aug 24 '11 at 7:00
To make note, this no longer applies. imo no longer has skype support –  a sandwhich Jul 19 '13 at 0:52
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Trillian now uses skypekit.
I even found plugin to have the skype smilie collection.

As a result I have 3x less memory consumption, 2x speed and tons of customization.

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You could screnscrape imo.im, running a hidden browser window. I'm sure it's no worse than locking skype protocol on proprietary client.

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No more true. see this screenshot –  Sarge Borsch Oct 11 '13 at 5:29
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http://www.trillian.im/download/ Try trillian. It's always worked for me.

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like Miranda IM, Trillian requires Skype to be installed on the system in order to support the protocol. –  Molly7244 Nov 25 '09 at 17:06
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There are a lot of IM clients out there; pidgin, trillian, and more. Per torbeng, imo.im has web-based skype support.

There's also http://tinychat.com for voice and video; it runs right in the browser and doesn't require any special client software to be installed.

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