TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: AOL Jumps Into Free E-Mail Business

AOL Jumps Into Free E-Mail Business

Monty Solomon (
Thu, 12 May 2005 02:36:07 -0400

By ANICK JESDANUN AP Internet Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Its subscription business in decline, America Online
Inc. is launching yet another product on the open Web: a free,
ad-supported e-mail service tied to its instant-messaging platform.

Users of AOL Instant Messenger will be able to send and receive mail
with "" addresses using their existing AIM screen names.

Initially, users will need the latest version of AIM software,
available as a "beta" test download for Windows computers beginning
Wednesday. Ultimately, they'll be able to send and receive mail from
any Web browser.

Each account comes with 2 gigabytes of storage _ comparable with
Google Inc.'s Gmail and more generous than the free offerings from
Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s Hotmail and even AOL's flagship
subscription service.

And unlike AOL's main accounts, which keep new messages for 27 days
and messages already read for up to a week unless users actively save
them, AIM mail never expires.

AIM mail will also incorporate a few features unique to AOL until now:
The ability to check whether AOL and AIM recipients have opened a
message and to delete an unopened message from the recipients' inbox
(This won't work with e-mail sent to users of other services).

The Web-based interface will also have drag-and-drop capabilities,
allowing users to sort mail without having to check multiple boxes and
hit a "move" button.


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