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AOL Commences Public Beta Testing of New AIM Pro Service


Friday, June 16, 2006; 05:37 AM

AOL and WebEx Communications commenced public beta testing of the AIM Pro service, Professional Edition, at http://beta.aol.com. The Professional Edition is a more secure, feature-rich version of the regular AIM service. It features a new, ad-free interface, integration with Microsoft Outlook and one click access to WebEx Communications’ voice and video conferencing and desktop sharing services.

AIM logo.
It also enables at-work users to use their professional email address as their AIM Pro Screen Name, link to existing AIM accounts and easily migrate existing AIM contacts into the AIM Pro Buddy List feature.

During the beta period, the Professional Edition will be free to all testers.  Once the service officially launches, it will be available to individuals, workgroups and businesses for a low subscription fee. The beta version is available for free download at http://beta.aol.com. 

Instant messaging has become acollaboration tool for an estimated 135 million workers in organizations of all sizes. Analysts estimate that this number will grow to more than 477 million by 2009 with the majority of these users relying on consumer services such as AOL’s AIM service.

The beta version of the AIM Pro Service, Professional Edition offers the following features:

    * Instant download, easy set-up and simple migration of existing AIM Screen Names.
    * Professional look and feel with no advertising in the user interface.
    * Business-grade security and SSL encryption for confidential conversations.
    * Seamless integration of Microsoft Outlook Client allowing user to IM, send email and manage calendars all in one convenient place.
    * Ability to use email addresses as Screen Names to maintain consistent business identity online.  All email addresses are validated for added security.
    * Ability to conduct online One-Click Web-Ex meetings to easily share presentations and invite viewers to collaborate in real time.
    * Premium voice and video conferencing for dynamic presentations and face-to-face meetings with clients and colleagues anytime, anyplace.
    * Unparalleled reach for fast and effective business communications with the more than 80 million users on the global AOL instant messaging network via the AOL AIM, ICQ and Apple iChat services.
    * Access to more than 75 percent of all enterprise instant messaging (EIM) users via AOL’s AIM Clearinghouse service and federation agreements, including those using Microsoft Corporation's Live Communications Server and IBM / Lotus Sametime 7.0 as well as EIM systems from Jabber, Inc., Antepo, Inc., Parlano, Inc., Omnipod, Inc. and Communicator, Inc.

The following additional features will be part of the official release of the AIM Pro service:

    * Automatic anti-virus file scanning that requires no additional download.
    * Auditing, logging and compliance capabilities to meet expanding government regulations.
    * AIM Phoneline and AIM Phoneline Unlimited integration giving users a free, local phone number to receive unlimited incoming calls online through the AIM Pro service, as well as the ability to upgrade to a complete, E911-compliant PC-based phone service with unlimited in- and outbound calling to 30 countries for one low monthly fee.
    * The EIM Edition of the AIM Pro Service: A separate beta test for the EIM edition – with centralized administrative controls for larger corporations – will be available next week.



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