Trillian, the popular instant messaging client, has reached version 5 after a lengthy beta program. Developed by Cerulean Studios, the software has been around since late 2002 as an alternative to Windows Live Messenger and also incorporates several other IM protocols such as Google Talk, Skype, Facebook Chat and more.

With v5 there have been major updates to the interface, ditching the dated Astra interface for a more polished Windows Ribbon-style approach. Mail, social networks and contacts are now all present in the main panel and controls have been slimmed down into a neater and more compact style, which is (finally) resizable. The new theme looks amazing and feels like it belongs with Windows 7 where Trillian Astra could never quite do the same.

Conversations are carried out using a bubble-like UI and all other conversations are tabbed in the one window; similar to Windows Live Messenger 2011. This saves a lot of screen clutter and makes juggling conversations that bit easier. Two other very neat new features to Trillian 5 is the ability to store your conversations in the Astra cloud (Pro users only), which could come in handy for those that worry about their computer's HDD storage solution, and also the "continuous client" that updates your chats in real-time between the devices you are signed in to via Trillian Astra.

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