AOL prepares for free e-mail service

AOL has re-designed its customer e-mail service as part of its preparations to launch a free e-mail service later this year.

AOL has re-designed its customer e-mail service as part of its preparations to launch a free e-mail service later this year.

The online service provider said the new service will be faster and easier to use.

AOL has also announced an update to its AOL Instant Messaging (AIM) service, to more tightly integrate it with its e-mail service, as well as making it more widely available with third-party e-mail clients, including Microsoft Outlook.

AOL announced a new local search facility in the US last week, which sought to consolidate a number of search streams into a single search engine.

AOL Search combines the likes of AOL Yellow Pages, AOL CityGuide, Moviefone and MapQuest into one service.

All three developments are part of AOL’s move towards a comprehensive free e-mail service. Rivals Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft Hotmail have launched free e-mail services, which have taken an increasingly large chunk of web advertising revenue from AOL’s paid for web services.

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