AOL Instant Messenger, known commonly as AIM, is one of the most popular and oldest instant-messaging services around. It lets users chat with one another, send files, and have multiple conversations tabbed together in one window.
Like similar instant-messaging protocols, users get their own identities, complete with usernames and short profile. Users can add all sorts of links and text, which other viewers can browse. AIM users can also add their buddies with just a username, instead of having to remember e-mail addresses or real names.
The latest version of AIM takes a page from microblogging service Twitter, letting people broadcast their status regardless of if they're away. It also has offline messaging, letting you send people messages when they're offline that will show up the next time they sign on.
Winner: AIM (Dashboard.Aim.com)