There already has been words about Empathy replacing Pidgin as the default IM client in both Ubuntu 9.10 and Fedora 12. We are not sure whether Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic will have it or not but Fedora 12 is going to have Empathy as it's default IM client for sure. I happened to be checking out the Fedora 12 features list and was not at all surprised to see the inclusion of Empathy as the default IM client in Fedora 12. This feature is also listed as 100% complete. So Empathy is now sure to be as the default IM client in Fedora.
Empathy supports various protocols like MSN and XMPP including Google Talk and Fedora Talk. The geolocation feature in Empathy has been enabled by default but the sad part is GTalk's server does not support geolocation publishing so you won't be able to use this feature with GTalk. Well as far as upgrades are concerned, Pidgin will remain the default. Empathy will be installed only in the new installations.
There is still an issue with the geolocation feature that depends on a newer libchamplain. libchamplain has not been ported to the clutter 1.0 api yet. Upstream plans to sort this all out in time for Gnome 2.28. Among other bugs are collapsing "Advanced" section doesn't return Accounts window to original size and "Create" button in Accounts window doesn't create an account. Well these issues will be very well sort when Fedora 12 comes out.