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My network is a fully Microsoft stack. I have Windows Server 2003 server.

What tool can I install on clients so they can talk internally without accessing outside?

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3 Answers

If you are looking for a internal self hosted IM solution then I would check out http://www.igniterealtime.org/

This is what we use at our office, its free, stable, and not too crazy to setup. If you really want to keep everything internal then this would be a good way to go. You can then use Pidgin or Spark (the client developed by this company) to chat internally.

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raaaaaagh you beat me to it. –  VxJasonxV Dec 10 '10 at 18:40
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Also, to expand on a few points of David's answer: (1) Bonjour is great for simple ad-hoc communication on the same LAN, (2) If you need something more robust, like authentication and a bit more, an XMPP server is better. (3) You can use ANY compliant XMPP client if you run an XMPP server. A few examples off the top of my head: Spark, Pidgin, PSI, Swift, Pandion, and more. –  VxJasonxV Dec 10 '10 at 18:41
    
Also, David, he can't use Spark before he uses OpenFire, or another XMPP Server. –  VxJasonxV Dec 10 '10 at 18:45
    
Yeah, i should have clarified that. We use OpenFire as the server then most of our Windows users run the Spark client to access, while those of us on Linux run Pidgin. –  David Dec 10 '10 at 18:48
    
Pidgin works well from Windows as well. Spark occasionally crashes with no explanation. –  Mike Chess Dec 11 '10 at 1:53
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Bonjour from Apple, and Pidgin IM using the Bonjour protocol.

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I've used Pop Messenger by Lead Mind in the past and I liked it although it doesn't stack up so well against the other solutions already listed here, especially since it isn't free. I believe it uses UDP to communicate and uses UDP broadcast when you want to send a message to all clients at once. Unless something has changed since the time I used it, it does not require or make use of a client/server architecture.

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