Instant Messenger Comparison: Gtalk, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger

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Mar 31, 2008, 9:10:09 AM3/31/08
Gtalk is quite good.
It's an IM (instant messenger) like Windows Live Messenger (WLM, MSN

1. Email integration:

Gtalk: Notification and one click open for Gmail. With email
notification of Google Calendar, can be used as calendar event
notification tool. Voice mail to Gmail [1].

WLM: Notification and one click open for Hotmail.
YM: Notification and one click open for Yahoo mail.
Skype: None.

2. Text chat:

Gtalk Desktop: With Gtalk desktop, Gtalk web gadget, Gmail chat. Maybe
also possible with other Jabber/XMPP compatible chat network. Gmail
Chat: With Gtalk desktop, Gtalk web gadget, AIM. Group chat only
supported [13] in Gtalk web gadget Web
chat: [6][7][8].

WLM: With WLM and Yahoo Messenger (YM). Group chat. Web chat:
http://*web*messenger.*msn*.com/ and others [7][8][10].
YM: With YM and WLM. Group chat. Web chat:
*http://web*messenger.*yahoo*.com/ and others [7].
Skype: Only with Skype. Group chat, public chat. No web chat.

3. Audio chat:

Gtalk desktop: One to one audio chat. No audio conference with more than
2 people.
WLM: One to one audio chat. No audio conference with more than 2 people.
Skype: Audio conference with multiple users. Public audio conference
supported, named Skypecast. Gratis voice call to gratis (free) phone
numbers in USA.
YM: Audio conference with multiple users.

4. Video chat:

Gtalk: No.
WLM: Video conference with multiple users.
Skype: One to one video chat. No video conference with more than 2 people.
YM: Video conference with multiple users.

5. Message history:


Stored in gmail chat folder automatically. Can search chat message
history easily in gmail. no local message saving, good for
multiple/shared computer roaming/traveling users.

Can disable message history recording by selecting (go off the record).
When you disable message history recording, the person that you're
talking with will disable message history recording automatically. This
is suitable for privacy protection. Deleting message history is same as
deleting email in Gmail.

Stored locally in XML format. Can be viewed in web browser. Disable
message history only works for all chats. Can be searched with Google
Desktop or similar desktop search engine, or search text in the message
history storage folder: My Documents\My Received Files\<username><some
digits>. Chat message history with specific contact person can be
deleted easily. Can be edited to remove part of the message history with
text editor.

Stored locally. Can be viewed in YM. Disable message history only works
for all chats.


Stored locally in binary format in the application data folder:
Skype\<username>\*.dbb. Can be exported into HTML with /htmlhistory
command [14]. Disable message history only works for all chats. Chat
message history with specific contact person can't be deleted or
modified easily [19].

Message history browser third party softwares [15][16]. The data format
is not published, but there are limited information about it [20].

Can edit/delete chat messages that were already sent in current chat
session. The other people in the chat session will see updated message
in their chat window and also in their message history log, but the old
message text can still be found in the binary message *.dbb database files.

Skype keeps event history of all text/audio/video/file transfer.

6. Encryption:

Gtalk: Communication is encrypted. Login username, password, the contact
persons who you're talking with are all protected by encryption of SSL
connection. But note, all the information is clear text on the google
servers. So the people who have access to the google servers can still
spy on your data. File transfer is encrypted. Audio chat maybe not
encrypted. With Simplite for Gtalk/Jabber, end to end text chat
encryption is supported thus even the google servers won't be able to
capture the clear text message data [5].

Skype: Text messages/audio/video/file transfer data are not sent through
skype servers, but encrypted and sent directly to the person that you're
talking with if either of you have open incoming network port; or
encrypted and relayed through other skype users who have open incoming
network port. Nobody will have the clear text of the message except the
persons that you're talking with. The username, password and the user
names who you're talking with are also encrypted.

WLM & YM: All messages are in clear text and can be monitored [9].
Simplite [3] can be used to encrypt the message text, the names of all
the chat participants will still be in clear text. File transfer and
local message history is not encrypted with Simplite freeware version.

[1] gtalk + gmail voicemail 语音邮件功能
[2] skype gtalk 离线消息差别
[3] MSN Messenger encryption and security software*simplite*_msn/home.php
[4] 推荐msn加密软件
看了一下介绍,其实就是提供了一个 SSL 转接到 MSN 的代理的功能。只有你的这
另外有一个 microsoft 提供的插件加密方案,类似 msn 中的游戏:

[5] Google Talk may be able to communicate with Skype in the future
[6] gtalk has a macromedia flash based web client

[7] Meebo Instant Messenging Anywhere
AIM, Yahoo, Meebo, Google Talk (Gtalk), MSN (Windows Live Messenger, WLM)

[8] Online Instant Messaging Chat With Multiple Clients Support

[9] Messenger Detect
Monitor and record all MSN chats, AOL (AIM) chat, Yahoo chat, and ICQ
chat on your Local network automatically and secretly!

[10] MSN2Go is a *free* web-based MSN messenger service
[11] google talk 文字对话是通过加密信道传送的
[12] AOL free services
集成 AIM, calendar, todo,支持check the status of a sent message or
retrieve unopened e-mail from AOL(R) or AIM(R)

[13] gmail支持gtalk群聊了
[14] skype 会话记录导出
[15] skype chat message history viewer
No need for skype to be running, direct data export from *.dbb files.

[16] SkypeChatExporter: Skype chat message history export tool
Need to run Skype and login first. Data exported through Skype API.

[17] Miranda IM
An opensource smaller, faster, easier instant messenger with support for
multiple protocols including AIM, Jabber, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo, and more.

[18] Skype user data Corrupted Data Recovery Service, DBB Data Recovery

[19] Can I delete the Chat history for just one of my Contacts?

[20] Skype Log File Analysis

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