Do you use AOL Instant Messenger, but want something a little more professional? Now AOL is releasing AIM Pro aimed at businesses and professionals. Most people are familiar with AIM's buddy lists and text chat functions, but AIM Pro adds business features like Outlook calendar integration along with desktop sharing through WebEx. AIM Pro also has a cleaner look because there are no more advertisements.
The first thing users will notice is that there is no yellow anywhere in the window or menus. In addition, the familiar AOL "running man" icon is missing. AIM Pro integrates with Microsoft Outlook, both in personal and in corporate mode. Meeting reminders are displayed in a small window at the top of AIM Pro, while a Calendar tab lets users view and schedule appointments. Clicking on "Schedule" automatically calls up the Outlook appointment creation window.
Users can search for buddies, read financial information from the Wall Street Journal and listen to professional Podcasts, through three icons along the bottom of AIM Pro. The can also click on the calendar tab to view and schedule Outlook calendar appointments.
Planning to be away from your computer for a while? AIM Pro can forward instant messages to most phones. After clicking the "Set Up IM Forwarding" item in the Edit menu, users are sent to a webpage that asks for a phone number. The service only works for phones that have text-messaging capability.
The popular desktop sharing and virtual meeting application WebEx is now intergrated with AIM. AIM Pro lets users share their desktops to one other AIM Pro user for free. Professionals who want multiple people to control or view their desktops will need a WebEx account. The WebEx appointments can be scheduled and viewed within the integrated calendar.
Security conscious professionals will appreciate the new security features. AIM Pro has SSL-encrypted chat, video and voice sessions. File transfers are automatically scanned for viruses.
After downloading AIM Pro, users can stay with their old AIM names or create a new one that uses their professional email address. The application is available for free and you can download the 11 MB install file here.