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I have never had a love of AOL - ever since the world was bombarded with the weak offering from America Online back in the late 90's I have to say that I have never embraced the then Internet giant.
Seriously flawed is one expression that springs to mind when AOL is brought into a conversation.
AOL - Down the tubes?
Who remembers the AOL software that took over your Windows 3.1 operating system?
It was a garbage system, the use of the AOL browser was an accident waiting to happen. The tech-support was rubbish and I for one am very happy that AOL are not the player they used to be.
Thankfully since the adoption of broadband there has been less reliance to use the dial-up service offered by AOL.
On the flip-side, you could argue that AOL made it easier for a generation to adopt the web. That would be a fair argument, it was just the way they went about it that rubbed me up the wrong way.
Now that it has been announced that AOL are to split with Time Warner by the end of 2009, the company will be left to it's own devices. AOL will now have to create a niche in which it can survive. But what does AOL in 2009 have to offer users?
It's search is powered by Google, its news I can find on any number of sites. I use Facebook for chat and gmail for my email, so tell me where does AOL think it is going to re-establish itself as a leading Internet company?
AOL is in my mind a dinosaur in the ever fresh web-world, it held the baton, but unfortunately the AOL people dropped it and I can never really see them recovering unless they can introduce something quite stunning to re-ignite our interest.
I hope you can detect an undertone of smugness coming in my post, I would be only too glad to see such an un-customer focused organisation such as AOL fall further into Internet oblivion.
But what do you think, will AOL ever be an Intenet giant again?