AOL Finally Arrives at Free Web Mail Party

Ever wanted your own free email account to match your AIM instant messaging id? Starting today, you can. America Online, trying to keep up with the other free web mail Joneses, announced they would begin offering AIM Mail. This service, which will offer spam and anti-virus protection, gives users two gigabytes of storage. It is part of a larger roll out of the AIM 5.9 software.

Users wanting to sign up can visit www.aim.com and enter their AIM id and password. They will then be prompted to verify their basic information, after which a x@aim.com address will be assigned. Those wanting to access their AIM Mail later can do so by directly visiting the website or one-clicking the email link in the AIM 5.9 software.

Speaking of the AIM 5.9 software, other features AOL announced include an expanded buddy list feature that can now accommodate up to 400 buddies and store more contact information on each one, as well as twice as much writing space away messages.

“We are very excited to invite AIM users to activate their AIM Mail accounts, which are ready and available today,” added Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president and general manager for AIM and ICQ, America Online, Inc. “We are also thanking our users for making their AIM Screen Name a core part of their identity by giving them the chance to win really cool prizes simply by activating their AIM Mail.”

In other America Online news, the online service announced unlimited email storage for their paying members and a simultaneous log-in feature for dial-up users which will enable multiple account names on the same master account to sign into the service at the same time and from multiple locations. The latter feature was previously available only to AOL broadband users.

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