: Microsoft Throws Down the MSN 8 Gauntlet"> AOL, meanwhile, is focusing on instant messaging with its new release. Many of the AOL 8 features introduced last week focus on providing users with new IM customization and content-sharing options. Both companies are talking up parental controls with their new releases. While AOL was first to deliver parental control functionality, Microsoft is offering more levels of customization. Both companies are offering some type of mechanism for obtaining reports on childrens online activities.While both Microsoft and AOL are going after consumers with their new services, Microsoft executives emphasized that the company is sharing technologies both ways between its MSN group and other product units. "Over time, all real-time communications will get hooked up to instant messaging," Gates told launch attendees. Mary Jo Foley is editor of Ziff Davis Microsoft Watch. Click here to get your 14-day free trial. Related Stories:
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Both companies also are offering features that are accessible only by users with broadband access. MSN 8 offers built-in Internet firewall software for broadband customers; AOL is offering multiple simultaneous login capabilities for its broadband users.