Page Two

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-10-15 Print this article Print

: Its Back to the Customer for AOL"> But the most-celebrated celebrities at the AOL kick off were the hundreds of members—many of whom were transported and housed at AOLs expense—who represented the various online communities which have come to form the backbone of the service. AOL executives highlighted some of these communities—including a breast cancer survivors group; a "Pregnancy Circle" of women who became pregnant around September 11 of last year; and a handful of kids who won an AOL-sponsored Harry Potter look-alike contest. The new features of AOL 8 took a distant second place to the greater- and lesser-known stars. But among them are:
  • Additional e-mail filtering and organization;
  • Customization throughout the product, ranging from a choice of welcome screens, to new buddy sounds, wallpaper and other instant-messaging personalization options;
  • A community-chat search engine, called MatchChat;
  • Additional parental controls, including a "Guardian" report card feature for monitoring childrens online activities;
  • Additional news alerts and reminders for both desktop and mobile users;
  • An automatic reconnect feature that will allow users whose connection is interrupted to be returned automatically to the last area visited;
  • Call-waiting (for an additional few dollars per month), which will allow online users to see the number of someone calling them while on a shared dial-up line;
  • And a multiple-simultaneous login facility for broadband AOL customers.
    One of the announcements which drew the most applause was AOLs eleventh-hour decision, at its members request according to officials, to eliminate all third-party pop-up adds with version 8.0. The only pop-ups that version 8.0 users will see are those services and ads that AOL itself delivers to its members. Mary Jo Foley is editor of Ziff Davis Microsoft Watch. Click here to get your free 14-day trial. Related Stories:
  • MSN 8 Leaked
  • AOL Quietly Posts Version 8
  • AOL, MS Ready Version 8.0
  • MSN 8: One Month From Launch and Counting
  • Review: MSN Takes on AOL—Again (PC Magazine)


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