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AOL woos subscribers with 'Communicator' preview

After over two years of development, AOL has made available a preview release of its new standalone e-mail client dubbed AOL Communicator. Communicator is one of many applications and services AOL plans to offer members in an effort to reinvigorate diminishing subscriber growth.

As first reported by BetaNews, a beta version of Communicator -- code-named Photon -- first cropped up last November. At the time, AOL was unsure how it would market the product and whether it would compete with the company's fledgling Netscape browser suite. But recent financial troubles and management shakeups have forced AOL to focus on improving its core subscriber business.

Tailored for heavy users of e-mail and instant messaging, the Communicator package includes a standalone e-mail client featuring integrated address book and an ad-free version of AIM. Communicator Mail supports retrieving messages from any ISP, but only after entering an AOL account. Message filtering is included, along with automatic spam filtering that learns over time.

Instant Messenger for AOL Communicator supports both AIM and ICQ accounts, but messaging across networks is not possible. As reported by BetaNews last October, AOL was previously testing interoperability between its two IM networks.

View: Flash demo

News source: BetaNews

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