Netscape, AOL team up on 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.
Instant messages are nothing new to America Online users.
They've been able to send quick notes to each other since
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
"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.