AOL Primes AIM With Video, Multiple Logins

AIM 5.5.3501 brings AOL’s IM offering up to par with rivals MSN and Yahoo!.

In addition to video messaging, AIM now permits screen name linking, which allows users to log in under multiple accounts concurrently within a single session.

AOL promised video over IM shortly after details on the upcoming AOL client upgrade, code-named Tahiti, emerged in October. Today’s build makes good on that promise, provided customers are running Microsoft’s Windows XP. The AIM Web site also makes note that performance is superior over a local area network or broadband connection.

The company was previously barred from incorporating such a feature into its wares following a post-merger FCC restriction that allowed competitors to one-up the online powerhouse.

However, all of the US Government imposed regulations were lifted last August.

Today’s AIM beta release comes on the heels of several other significant upgrades to AOL software.

As first reported by BetaNews, AOL quietly switched on a new feature in its instant messaging network allowing concurrent logins from multiple locations with the same screen name, while broadcasting incoming messaging to each point of access simultaneously. The feature was extended to include client-side support for multiple screen names.

Now, each screen name’s buddy list can be displayed within the same client application. For privacy reasons, a single click can set each account’s status to appear either on or offline to other AIM users.

AOL also recently released an add-on to Tahiti’s standalone dialer that permits open mail access to e-mail programs other than its own. The company is rushing to complete work on the AOL client update by early next year, roughly around the same timeframe that MSN intends to launch MSN 9.0 on January 8.

The new AOL client will come in two flavors: a light low-RAM version for customers with under-powered PCs, and a regular full featured client. Both editions are set to include new spyware protection developed by AOL.