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August 17, 2005

AOL Launches AIM Homepage, Upgrade

Courtesy of TechWeb News

America Online Inc. on Wednesday upgraded its instant messaging service, and launched a homepage highlighting the features and add-ons of AIM and a web browser that provides quick access to AIM-related services.

The homepage provides access to web-based email, mobile instant messaging, icons, wallpapers, sounds and interactive games. In addition, AOL released an upgrade of the AIM service that delivers the browser and a new version of the companion window to the AIM client, called AIM Today, that highlights daily features on the AOL portal.

The browser, an optional feature for AIM subscribers, includes tabbed web browsing, and integration with AIM web mail and AOL's email service for subscribers.

The new AIM Today companion screen is updated four times a day, and provides access to the AOL portal's programming and interactive features, such as music, news, entertainment and video services. The window also includes search for local products and services. In the future, AOL plans to add the ability to search user profiles, and to submit photos for others to view.

With 20 million active AIM users, the service has become the primary driver behind web traffic to other AOL online products. The Dulles, Va., company, a unit of Time Warner Inc., is expected to make generally available this year a major overhaul of the AIM client, code-named Triton, which is currently in beta.

With Triton, AOL has reengineered the AIM client with a new code base and architecture, in order to enhance advanced communication services, such as real-time voice and video.

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