The recently released version of Ubuntu, 9.10, comes with a new default messenger program called Empathy, which replaces the venerable Pidgin. This is great, I'm not a huge fan of Pidgin for anything other than simple chat like IRC or Google Talk. It doesn't support video/audio chat, it has issues with synchronizing MSN contact lists (or at least it did, I haven't used Pidgin for MSN since, well it was still called gAIM last time I used MSN with it), and it looks like someone like me designed the GUI for it (it is very bare and plain).
Next, I want to compare it with aMSN, which is what I use for MSN. If it supports simultaneous audio/video chat, then I'm sold (provided there aren't any showstopper bugs). aMSN doesn't do this, so if I want to talk to my parents on the other end of the country (who don't have Skype) it is either with audio or video, but not both.
Also aMSN is done with Tk. While the developers have done a great job making it look decent, it's like putting makeup on an 80 year old. They still look like they're 80. So I'm hoping for something that looks a little more modern.
So now I'm trying out Empathy to see why it is so much better. It supports video/audio chat, which is great. First step - it offers to import my Pidgin accounts. Nice! I'll try that. Unfortunately it doesn't work, and I really have no idea why.
I also can't seem to add any accounts to it other than ones that don't require a password - namely IRC. This is because when I create the account it asks for my keyring password which I don't know, since I don't use Ubuntu's keyring. Since I didn't provide the keyring password, the thing decides it doesn't want to create the account. UPDATE: If you need help resetting your keyring, you can follow my instructions here.
In effect, Empathy isn't much more to me than an IRC client. I'm sorry, I'll just continue to use Pidgin.