You could try GAIM, that supports just about every big IM protocol (AIM, MSN, ICQ, Trillian, Jabber & (IRC even))
If not try www.sourceforge.org
(i think it's .com)
As for the hotmail account, if you can't stick using a browser you might want to try those sites or pay for POP3 access.
That's why I moved to Yahoo for the free POP3 access.