AOL merges e-mail with instant messenger

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AOL merges e-mail with instant messenger

Dulles (VA) – People still using an AOL e-mail account can now chat with AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) users from their inbox, thanks to a new Web-based beta application from the Time Warner-owned company.

Similar to a widely disregarded feature in Google’s Gmail service, AOL users can download a new beta program, codenamed Cozumel, that doubles as an AOL webmail viewer and an AIM client.

In addition to an e-mail inbox, Cozumel lets users create tabs to keep track of AIM conversations, which update in real time.  Because it’s a Web-based application, it doesn’t offer all the features that are available in the actual AIM application, like game invites and voice chats.

In a bid to stay alive in the online market, AOL let users continue to use their e-mail account even if they canceled their account to move to a high-speed connection or a cheaper dial-up ISP.  New users can also sign up for a Web-based AOL e-mail account.

The new e-mail beta also adds a feature that Google effectively brought into the limelight – unlimited storage.