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Netscape, AOL team up on Instant Messenger

AOL Instant Messenger October 14, 1997
Web posted at: 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT)

From Correspondent Steve Baxter

(CNN) -- Netscape Communications and America Online have announced a partnership that could make it possible for millions of Internet users to exchange messages without waiting for e-mail to be delivered.

The service will be called Netscape's AOL Instant Messenger.

Steve Baxter reports:
icon 2 min. 5 sec. VXtreme video

Instant messages are nothing new to America Online users. They've been able to send quick notes to each other since 1989.

And for nearly a year and a half, AOL has offered its users "The Buddy List," a system that will notify you when one of your AOL friends logs on.

But since May the company has been testing AOL Instant Messenger, an Internet version of its popular messaging software that works with Windows, Mac and Java computers.

It lets anyone on the Internet send a message to any of the 9 million members of America Online, or anyone else on the Internet who has the software.

The service caught the attention of Netscape executives who want to use it to create new and larger Internet communities.

Building huge communities?

"I think this will expand through all sorts of communications gateways between us on our side and AOL," says Mike Homer of Netscape.

"It will really become a model where lots of the bigger sites on the Internet will start to create interconnections like this and ... (build) up these huge communities."

If you want to try the Netscape version of AOL Instant Messenger, you'll have to wait about a month for the newest version of Netscape Navigator.

If you'd like to try it right now, go to AOL's Web site and download the software.

We tried it with two machines in our office, one running America Online, the other running Microsoft's new version of Internet Explorer. After an easy installation we were sending messages easily and instantly.

And if you were wondering, yes, AOL will be selling ads on Instant Messenger. AOL and Netscape will share the revenues.

CNN Plus
  • Newsmaker Profile: Marc Andreessen - Netscape Communications Executive
  • Newsmaker Profile: Steve Case - Chairman, CEO, America Online

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