Pidgin, the popular open-source instant messaging program formerly known as GAIM, has just reached version 2.8. The main web-site has not yet been updated to reflect Pidgin 2.8, but this is an exciting release with a number of new features...
I've been using Pidgin for a while now (actively; I tried it out a few times a long time ago), and I have to say it's really awesome. Both on Windows and Linux. I especially like the plugins such as gFire (those who created it rock!), MusicTracker (even though getting it to work on x64 was a little problematic) and Skype for Pidgin (which still needs work even with things like file transfer, but at least it brings some consistency here as well). So it's good to see it being developed as actively as before.
Although I think Pidgin is a really great program there are also a few things that I dont like. For example the libpurple devs seem to be reluctant to implement the Freedesktop.org XDG Config spec and move their ~/.purple stuff to the .local/share and .config folder.
The second thing is that there is no such search function as in empathy or skype that u can just type and it will show you the contact u are looking for.
I really hoped Pidgin will bring us to the world of open voice&video calls (using Jingle).
Long time ago they introduced voice&video on Linux, which seems to work fine. However none of the teams that tried to add voice&video on Windows didn't succeed.
Not all of my friends are using Linux, so I really need this from Pidgin. Using Skype as alternative is not a fun.
I completely agree with you! I realize that they are volunteers but I think that the Pidgin devs severely underestimate the importance of audio/video on Windows to facilitate communicating with open protocols (XMPP+Jingle) instead of relying on proprietary, centralized solutions (Skype).
Until the Pidgin developers get their act together on this, you may want to try Jitisi. It's a new kid on the block and under heavy development with no (as of yet) stable releases, but it is cross-platform and supports audio/video via SIP or XMPP on each of the platforms it supports. It is the only free software solution for XMPP+Jingle on Windows at this point.