AOL Offers Popular Services In One Desktop App - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


AOL Offers Popular Services In One Desktop App

OpenRide is optimized for broadband and provides access to e-mail, instant messaging, Web browsing, online search, and a digital entertainment media center via one application, albeit in separate windows on one screen.

AOL launches free desktop software that combines its most popular services into one user interface, the latest move by the Internet service provider to lure former subscribers back to the fold.

OpenRide, which is optimized for broadband, but could also be used on dialup connections, provides access to email, instant messaging, Web browsing, online search and a digital entertainment media center in one application. The latter service lets users watch video, listen to music and view photos.

Each service is delivered in a separate window on a four-pane screen that lets people, for example, check email while watching a video, or send an IM while listening to music. AOL, a unit of Time Warner, plans to eventually allow users to add other Web services to the UI.

The email pane of OpenRide is not limited to AOL Web mail. People can also access accounts from other email providers, including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. The media center provides access to video and music on the Web, as well as AOL's own services, and can play songs and show photos stored on a computer's hard drive.

AOL said its own field-testing of the product with hundreds of households showed a need for an application that enables more efficient multitasking by eliminating the need to jump between multiple windows.

OpenRide is the latest broadband-optimized software offered by AOL as the company transitions from an ISP dependent on a declining base of 10s of millions of dialup subscribers to a public Web portal that draws revenue from online advertising. AOL said in August that the services it offers in a proprietary Internet community for narrowband users would be made available at no charge to broadband subscribers.

AOL's customer base has been declining for several years, as people switch to broadband. The number of U.S. consumers with high-speed connections at home grew 30 percent to 102.5 million in May from 78.6 million a year ago, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. The number of narrowband users, meanwhile, fell by 31 percent to 40.3 million from 58.8 million.

Other AOL services released so far include security tools, online storage, Internet telephony services and personalized email domains. AOL plans to launch this fall a version of online search for high-speed users. The service will be powered by Google, which owns 5 percent of AOL and also has an ad-partnership with the company.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll