Open XMPP Alternatives to Google Talk

After Google's much-publicised decision to replace Google Talk with Hangouts and drop XMPP support in the process, many people have been looking for alternative XMPP servers that allow connecting through standards-based clients and support federation with other servers. Here are a few servers I recommend.px.gif

Now, just to be clear, this is only a small subset of XMPP servers. There is a large number of public XMPP servers with different features (see this list for example), some even allow you to connect to your ICQ or Yahoo Messenger accounts, or to send SMS or email. Which server is best for you pretty much depends on what you want and what you need — as usual.