AOL and VeriSign offer software to small businesses

America Online (AOL) is rolling out a version of its 8.0 Internet access software for small businesses, providing marketing tools...

America Online (AOL) is rolling out a version of its 8.0 Internet access software for small businesses, providing marketing tools and business content, and is partnering with leading US registrar VeriSign to provide domain registration and corporate e-mail.

AOL for Small Business provides domain registration, business e-mail and Web site creation and management tools from VeriSign. AOL is also touting the marketing features available to users through its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), AOL Alerts and Yellow Pages listing.

Business users will receive tailored content from Fortune Small Business, CNN Money, Business 2.0 and others, offered through a Small Business Welcome Screen. Additionally, users will be offered discounts from vendors such as Office Depot, Fortune and Pitney Bowes, which have partnered with AOL.

The service is geared toward broadband use, offering high-speed Internet users the ability to have up to seven simultaneous logons on the same account through a single connection.

The Small Business software is available for free to existing AOL members. New customers can sign up for the service at www.aolforsmallbusiness.com/.

VeriSign is offering users business e-mail, including a unique business e-mail address and domain name, for $39 (£25) a year. Customers can also sign up for a starter Web site package, including a Web site, unique business e-mail addresses and a domain name for $49 (£31) a year.

The software comes as part of AOL's latest push to boost its subscriber ranks. AOL has more than 35 million subscribers and, while it remains the world's largest ISP, its subscriber growth has slowed in recent quarters while competitors such as Microsoft's MSN have aimed at its user base.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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