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Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Communications Apps


Tom's Linux Series For Windows Power Users

Part 1: Installing Ubuntu Linux
Part 2: Internet Application Roundup
Part 3: Communications Application Roundup

In the previous segment of Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup, we looked into Internet Apps. These were defined as applications that rely on Internet access to connect the user to the Web at large.

In this segment, we will be focusing on communications applications. While these apps still rely on Internet access to function, their focus is to allow the user to communicate with other individuals using the Internet simply as a transit medium. We will go over Personal Information Managers (PIM), email clients, Instant Messengers (IM), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients. That means replacements for Outlook, Outlook Express, Trillian, and mIRC are to be found within. Many of these apps you may already be using in Windows. Mozilla Thunderbird, Skype, Pidgin IM, and others have native Linux installations available, too.

Semanticians may point out that most of these apps appear in the Internet category in the Ubuntu Applications menu. So why weren't they in the last installment of Internet Apps? Well, these apps started out in the Internet Apps section of this roundup, but the Linux software environment is a diverse one, and I quickly found that there were enough options out there to sub-divide further. So, I had to come up with some form of distinction other than what the GNOME menu gave me. It's also true that some of these apps, personal information managers in particular, may feel more at home in the Office section of the Applications menu. Truth be told, the upcoming Office Apps installment was actually written first and, like Internet Apps, that one is a real monster as well. Hence, some of the office software is making an appearance in this segment, too.

As with the previous installment of Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup, feel free to skip to the sections that interest you. Links to the appropriate installers are provided so that you can check out the apps for yourselves.