The Jabber protocol is very much like IRC, but is much newer.
Jabber is based on a client-server network. All communication is through XML packets, making for a very easily extendable, and free (as in freedom) protocol.
- Offline messaging
- Statuses such as 'Online,Away,DND,Free for Chat' etc.
- Group chat (conferences), through the use of conference rooms.
One of the main features of Jabber is the many clients that are able to connect from any operating system, and on any hardware, even PDAs.