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America On-Line


(AOL LLC., New York, NY, A major online information service that provides Web surfing, email, instant messaging and access to a variety of content all integrated into the AOL Web browser for Windows and Mac. AOL's email and AIM instant messaging services are also available independently as is AOL's website, which users can customize for personal use.

When dial-up access to the Internet was king in the late 1990s and early 2000s, AOL became a major force with more than 30 million subscribers worldwide connecting via dial-up analog modems. Its integrated software was popular with first-time Internet users, who were signing up in droves. However, as broadband cable and DSL took hold, AOL's dial-up base declined significantly. By 2011, the number of users was roughly 90% lower than its high point.

Free in 2006
In August 2006, in addition to its paid dial-up service, AOL introduced free services for broadband users as well as people who used another ISP for dial-up. Advertiser supported, they included the AOL browser, email with custom domain name, instant messaging, online storage, access to AOL videos, photo and video sharing and more than 200 Internet radio channels. A paid, premium service included ID theft and PC insurance.

AOL History
AOL was founded in 1985 as Quantum Computer Services by a handful of employees from the remains of Control Video Corporation (CVC), a company that sold Atari video games online. Quantum Computer offered games and other software to users with Commodore computers. In 1989, service was extended to the Mac and Apple II, and then to DOS users in 1991, when it changed its name to America Online (AOL). In 1995, the company acquired ANS, a network services provider, and two years later sold ANS to WorldCom in exchange for CompuServe's customer base, which WorldCom had recently acquired.

In 1999, AOL acquired Netscape and created an alliance with Sun to sell Netscape's Web products. Ironically, AOL's Web browser had actually been Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser and Netscape's primary competition.

In early 2001, AOL merged with Time Warner to become the largest online information and entertainment conglomerate in the world. For a while, the name of the company was AOL Time Warner; however, the merger never achieved the desired goals, and AOL was spun off in late 2009.

In the interim, AOL acquired Weblogs, Inc. in 2005, which included the Engadget tech blog. After the spin-off, in 2010, AOL added the competing TechCrunch blog to its lineup, and The Huffington Post news site the following year. In 2015, AOL was acquired by Verizon. See You've Got Mail, AIM, Alto Mail, online service and ANS.

Major Marketing
Perhaps the largest CD-ROM marketing campaign ever, AOL distributed millions of introductory offers to every venue imaginable after the Internet went commercial in the mid-1990s. New members signed up in record numbers. CD-ROMs were distributed with PCs, with software, virtually anything. They even wound up in dry-ice-frozen packages of filet mignons.
References in periodicals archive ?
officially changes its name to AOL LLC 2006: AOL begins offering its e-mail, software, content and most of its services free to Web users 2007: AOL launches more than a dozen new targeted sites and relaunches a dozen existing sites 2008: AOL launches 14 downloadable apps for the iPhone, including AIM for iPhone, one of the most popular free apps 2009: AOL Running Man inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame 2009: AOL begins trading on the NYSE after separating from Time Warner 2010: Lifestream available as standalone product for desktop, as well as iPhone and Android
Fans Select the AOL Running Man as a Favorite Advertising Icon
NEW YORK -- Online voters selected the AOL Running Man as one of two favorite icons to be inducted in to the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame, beating out 25 other popular mascots, Advertising Week announced today.
The AOL Running Man was introduced in 1996, when the icon was featured in the Sign On process for the AOL Service.
With one click on the AOL Running Man icon, users can launch an AIM(R) instant messaging session from within the Outlook application to connect with their Outlook contacts in real time.
com will enable AIM users to register their AIM screen names in connection with the resumes they have submitted or posted for review, and will indicate applicants' online presence with the AOL Running Man icon.
Integrating AIM presence and the familiar AOL Running Man icon across the Ruckus service lets students quickly see if friends using Ruckus are online and available to chat about popular music and movies.
While there, Bumbershoot attendees can check out AOL for Broadband's photo e-mail and video booth and meet AOL's world famous figure, the AOL Running Man.
Another ad spoofs the opening scene of "The Six Million Dollar Man" as a team of surgeons work to make the AOL Running Man faster and stronger than before.