The Galactic Empire:
Imperial Messenger

The Galactic Empire endorses multiple IM clients for use as secondary communication methods, with the most common being AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). AIM was originally selected as the "IM Platform of the Empire" due to widespread coverage, ease of use, small download size, and the many AOL members who staff the ranks of the GE. Since that time, MSN and ICQ have grown in use, as well as gaming-oriented programs such as Xfire which is now an endorsed client as well.
All of these clients are free downloads for Internet users, who can then exchange instant messages with any one of the millions of people who have a registered screen name for that particular program, and will allow you to instantly chat in "real-time" with many of your fellow Imperial officers.
To register, download one or more of the clients, or use a multi-protocol progam such as Trillian or Miranda, which can work with AIM, MSN, ICQ, etc. The full list of supported clients are listed below:
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) - The most widely used IM client.
Windows Live Messenger (MSN) - Recently renamed, works with hotmail.com, msn.com emails and more.
ICQ - A popular choice amongst certain circles.
Yahoo Instant Messenger (YIM) - Yahoo's entry in the IM field.
Xfire - Chat client that integrates into many popular PC games, including screenshot and video capture.
Multi-protocol clients:
Trillian - Free version is compatable with AIM, MSN, ICQ, YIM, IRC.
Miranda IM - Open source software with an extensive plugin and protocol selection.
Pidgin (formally Gaim) - Free GNU software with multiple supported protocols.

GE IM Icons

Imperial Messenger programs typically allow you to display a customized "Buddy Icon"... The following GE-themed IM icons were submitted by Imperial Officer Vintz for open use:
geaim_vintz_ge1.gif geaim_vintz_ge2.jpg geaim_vintz_ge3.jpg geaim_vintz_isd.gif
geaim_vintz_tf.gif geaim_vintz_atat.gif geaim_vintz_storm.gif geaim_vintz_ds.gif
To save an icon to disk, right-click on it and select "Save Picture As..."