up a level
Because everything on the market is bloated and ugly. Pidgin's light so it's not any trouble to run 24/7. It doesn't look or feel out of place on Windows & Linux. I run my own XMPP chat server so it's fairly private. Server is set up so chat is encrypted, file transfers aren't, and logs aren't kept. All are welcome to use it. I'm email@example.com if you want to add me.
Linux: Install pidgin using your package manager.
Windows: Download Pidgin from epyon.xyz or pidgin.im and install it.
When you first launch Pidgin it'll bring up the account setup window, if then not click Accounts → Manage Accounts to bring it up. Fill things out as shown.
Mint/Cinnamon shown in example. Other DE's should be similar. Command to run on startup is just "pidgin".