AOL to further integrate instant messaging and Web mail

AOL will soon roll out new features that further integrate its instant messaging capability with its Web mail offering

In the coming weeks, AOL will upgrade the beta version of its latest Web mail offering to include an expanded integrated instant messaging capability.

AOL also announced on Monday a new Vista-compatible instant messaging client and toolbar.

While AOL's Web mail has included instant messaging functions since 2004, the upgraded mail beta will allow users to have instant message conversations without leaving Web mail. Web mail users will see and be able to access their AOL instant messaging buddy list within the Web mail interface and conduct instant message conversations in a window that appears on the Web mail page.

They'll also be able to choose between sending a message via mail or instant message. The buddy list in the new Web mail will also highlight frequent contacts.

In February, AOL competitor Yahoo introduced similar new features into its beta mail service. Users of the Yahoo mail beta can start and conduct instant message chats from within the mail interface.

In addition to the new integrated messaging and mail features, AOL said that the new Vista-compatible AIM 6.1, which will become available later this week as a free download, will have a few new features. When a buddy signs off, users can opt to send either an offline instant message or a text message to the buddy's cell phone. Users will also be able to restrict which buddies can send messages to their cell phones.

Vista users will also get a couple of new personalization features. They'll be ale to change the colour of their buddy list and other instant messaging window elements, choosing from 10 colors. In addition, users will be able to attach their buddy list to either side of their desktop.

Another new feature will let users see all linked accounts at the top of their buddy list as well as set individual away messages and mark themselves as invisible for each linked screen name. The linked accounts feature lets users switch between multiple screen names without having to log-out and back in.

The new toolbar for AIM 6.1 offers users the chance to opt-in to capabilities that let them open a new instant message window and preview e-mail from the toolbar. Starting Tuesday, Internet Explorer browser users can download a stand-alone version of the Vista toolbar. The new toolbar will be available for Firefox users the week of April 2.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?