Besides a Vista-like makeover Astra won’t only look good, but it will also integrate Google Chat and the Myspace IM client protocol, and better integration for the already supported IM networks. Besides that, the Trillian users will now have access to a so called Astra URL, which is basically a webpage containing all the necessary info about all their IM accounts, websites, blogs etc. This will also serve as a contact page for people not using an IM client, to contact you, using nothing more than a web browser. ICQ also had this, and I think Yahoo! has a similar feature, but still, a handy feature to have around.
Talking web browsers, the new Alpha will have a web based version ready for people to use on the go. Now this sounds really handy for when you’re not sitting behind your own trusty hardware, and find yourself somewhere where you can’t, don’t want to, or aren’t allowed to install software just to chat a bit. MSN has this as well, but the way it works with Trillian (using Flash 9) is way more advanced as it completely breaks out of the browser window. I don’t know how they go about it technologically, but they have access to the system tray and the local filesystem for instance, without having to install anything… except Flash. But I guess most people will have that already. You can see it for yourself on the Trillian blog. Looking sweet huh?
Other cool stuff this version will have to offer is an always online contact list, open source flash widgets and a searchable contact list. You can find out more about this baby on trillianastra.com and follow the latest development news on the Trillian blog.