Miranda IM lacks the slick design of most IM programs, but makes up for it by supporting most IM programs in one fully customizable package. It's easy to add your various IM accounts--including AIM, Yahoo, ICQ and MSN--and you'll have the same icons and status messages for each program. You can even manage the personal information for all your accounts from one central control panel.
Miranda IM's plain, gray instant-messaging window offers just the basics for typing and viewing messages; you won't find the text formatting options, emoticons, or links that a program like Yahoo Messenger offers. You will find numerous options to customize how chat or IM windows behave, including a handy option to have messages from a specific person always appear in the same location on your screen. You also can assign hot keys for a few actions like opening the program or reading a message.
Miranda IM is offered as freeware. You'll give up some of the unique features of your IM programs, but Miranda IM allows you to conveniently monitor and manage many of your chat and messaging programs in one place.