Do you want AOL, but can't stand the CDs or the monthly charges? Now, the company is offering its famous Internet service for free with its OpenRide client. Meant mainly for broadband users, OpenRide combines a browser, email and other functions into a single four pane window. The software is freely downloadable and doesn't have any monthly subscription cost.
Users can access multiple email accounts from other services, like Google's Gmail and Yahoo's Mail Plu, through the OpenRide client and Gmail. In addition, to regular web browsing and email, Instant Messaging and a media player also come with the client. The new Instant Messenger will turn messages to offline people into either emails or text messages. Videos, pictures and music can be played and of course the player hooks into AOL's Video portal if you want to purchase more media.
Users of the new client can immediately browse the Internet without having to enter in a username and password. That information is only required for private access like when reading emails.
OpenRide can work on dial-up accounts, but AOL officials recommend broadband access.
AOL recently announced that it will stop marketing monthly subscription services and hopes to raise more revenue through advertising. The company will continue charging its dial-up subscribers.
OpenRide can be downloaded here.