I'm running kubuntu 64 bits. I have a couple of friends who use Skype for IM, and I would like to stay in touch with them.

I found the skype application too unstable. At first it crashed randomly after a couple of minutes of using it. This is discussed in some other threads; one of the proposed solutions is to reinstall skype (?).

This seems to have worked, but today I found that my notebook battery was being drained. top showed that pulseaudio was using too much CPU. I closed skype and pulseaudio went back to normal.

So, my question is: Does anyone else have these issues with Skype? Is there any way to use Skype IM without using Skype?

I tried using outlook.com having linked my microsoft and skype accounts. All my Skype contacts show as offline. Also, other IM services like imo.im seem not to work with Skype anymore.