AOL: Cut Bugs, Not Heads

 
 
By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2001-01-22 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I'm really happy about the AOL-Time Warner merger.

Im really happy about the AOL-Time Warner merger. Ever since AOL came out with Version 6.0, the browser has been crashing my Road Runner cable connection. Now that the merger has been completed, its time to start working out the bugs in my system. n Things were fine until AOL Version 6. Since that upgrade, Ive looked at the blue crash screen more than the Web. And AT&T/MediaOne/Road Runner (that cumbersome combination could be the problem) is no help. Its help desk says to contact AOL. But now that AOL is a part owner of Road Runner through Time Warner, it seems its about time for Steve Case to take an interest in building bug-free software. Maybe if all 29 million AOL/ CompuServe users asked him to fix a few bugs before he starts cutting heads at AOL Time Warner, he might listen.

AOL runs on Sun servers, so maybe Scott McNealy could lend a hand at solving this pesky problem, which appears epidemic among Road Runner users.

Of course, it wont happen. Companies caught up in the whirl of getting big think about only one thing: getting bigger while cutting people. And that already seems to be happening with AOL Time Warner. On the same day the company announced cuts to its CNN staff, the newly formed media giant announced a deal with mobile phone giant Nokia for a wireless browser. While browsers on phones are a decent idea, they are not nearly as good as software that works on the systems that are currently in use.

Soon well be getting those annoying AOL disks pasted over the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Maybe then the public will realize how huge and far-reaching the AOL Time Warner empire is. And some day youll get a reminder to renew your subscription while browsing on your AOL-browser-equipped Nokia phone. One click, and youve signed up for another year.

But before AOL Time Warner gets too wrapped up in thinking about future revenues, maybe it should also think about fixing present problems. It can start with my Web connection.

 
 
 
 
Since 1996, Eric Lundquist has been Editor in Chief of eWEEK, which includes domestic, international and online editions. As eWEEK's EIC, Lundquist oversees a staff of nearly 40 editors, reporters and Labs analysts covering product, services and companies in the high-technology community. He is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings and user events and sits on numerous advisory boards. Eric writes the popular weekly column, 'Up Front,' and he is a confidant of eWEEK's Spencer F. Katt gossip columnist.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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