Cerulean Studios is developing Trillian 4.0, which they are calling Astra. It looks like they are trying to incorporate everything except the kitchen sink in the new project, but the project tour and the Sneak Preview look very interesting. I’ve used Trillian for quite some time, and am still a big fan of the product. I imagine that services like meebo are beginning to lure some folks away from Trillian and other multi-protocol clients like Gaim, but I find that while meebo is quite cool, it is not as robust as I need for an everyday IM client. Meebo only allows for text conversations, and I do have the occasional need to send files and use the audio chat feature. As an example, I once helped a student edit his web page by sending the text file back and forth with file transfer. Where meebo wins is that it allows me to access my buddy list and use IM from anywhere. So I can log on at Mom’s house over the holiday break and IM my co-workers if needed, all without needing to download a client. Also, I am very fond of the meebome widget which allows users without IM accounts to contact me. I log into meebo every morning just to enable the widget, and I’ve actually had quite a few people contact me via the widget. I use Trillian for my other IM accounts as it remains my IM app of choice in the office and at home, and I will be very interested to see how Astra develops.
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