AOL Mail Is Still Around If You Can Believe It
What is AOL mail – Well if you’re over 30, you might feel the pain of sentimentality anytime someone mentions AOL. The business, which gave dial-up service to millions of Americans in the ‘90s, dominated the early days of the internet but was ultimately surpassed by the likes of Gmail and Comcast.
Even AOL Mail and AOL Instant Messenger — the online service’s “crown jewels” as tech blogger Brian McCullough described them — couldn’t save the falling company. So, what exactly set that major decline in motion? Well, the purchase of Time Warner certainly didn’t help.
What Happened To AOL Mail?
You may be shocked to discover that AOL Mail still exists, though you no longer need that free CD-ROM to install the program. The company’s products are now web-based, but a quarterly earnings report shockingly announced that 2.1 million mortals were still using and paying for AOL’s dial-up service as recently as 2015. Yes – Dial-Up!
Gazing back at the mid-1990s, it would’ve been tough to predict AOL’s unfortunate downturn. By 1997, AOL Mail had become the world’s biggest email provider with nearly 10 million subscribers. The $164 billion merger with Time Warner, which was finalized in January 2001, sent the company into a tailspin.
In 1997, AOL launched NetMail, a web-based version of its e-mail service. It was initially criticized for only working on Internet Explorer, but a later Java-written version ensured compatibility with Netscape Navigator. The service was renamed AOL Mail on the Web in December 1999.
In January 2001, an e-mail alert service for text-based digital cellphones and pagers was launched.
In 2004, AOL tested a new free webmail service for the public, without the need of customers subscribing to AOL. This was done in an effort to compete better against MSN Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail. The service launched in May 2005 under the name AIM Mail, with 2 gigabytes of mail storage and tightly integrated with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). It is based on technology from MailBlocks, which AOL acquired in 2004.
In November 2010, AOL released Project Phoenix, an email application program that features a Quick Bar where emails, text messages, and AOL Instant Messenger messages can be sent from one area. It also lets people add up to five accounts into it. In 2012, AOL released the Alto Mail software.
As of July 2012, there were 24 million AOL Mail users.
On March 16, 2017, Verizon, which had acquired AOL in 2015, announced that it would discontinue its in-house email services for internet subscribers, and migrate all customers to AOL Mail.
Here Is a Timeline in AOL History – AOL release timeline
- 1989 America Online for Macintosh received as a popular Apple Macintosh BBS
- February 1991 AOL for DOS launched
- January 1993 AOL 2.0 for the Apple Macintosh released,
- AOL 1.0 for Microsoft Windows 3.x launched
- June 1994 AOL 1.5 for Microsoft Windows 3.x released
- September 1994 AOL 2.0 for Microsoft Windows 3.x released
- June 1995 AOL 2.5 for Microsoft Windows 3.x released
- June 1995 AOL 3.0 (Win16) for Windows 3.x/Windows 95/Windows NT released
- June 1996 AOL 3.0 for Windows 95 released
- July 1998 / June 1999 AOL 4.0 (Casablanca) and Refresh 2 released
- September 1999 AOL 5.0 (Kilimanjaro) released
- June 2000 AOL 5.0 for 9x/NT/2K (Niagara) released
- October and December 2000 AOL 6.0 (K2 – Karakorum) and Refresh released
- September 2001 AOL 6.0.2 for XP (Steppenwolf) launched October and December 2001,
May and July 2002
- AOL 7.0 (Taz) and Refresh 1, Refresh 2, and Refresh 2 Plus released
- October 2002 AOL 8.0 (Spacely) released
- April 2003 AOL 8.0 Plus (Elroy) launched
- August and September 2003 AOL 9.0 Optimized (Bunker Hill / Blue Hawaii) and Refresh released
- May 2004 AOL 9.0 Optimized SE/LE (Thailand / Tahiti) released
- November 2004, July 2005 AOL 9.0 Security Edition SE/LE (Strauss) and Refresh released
- August 2005 to March 2006 AOL Suite Beta launched (cancelled)
- September 2006, March 2007 AOL OpenRide (Streamliner) launched
- November 2006, April 2007 AOL 9.0 VR and Refresh (Raga) released (AOL 9.0 for Microsoft Windows Vista but also
works with Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP)
- September 2007 AOL Desktop for Mac Beta released
- October 31, 2007 AOL 9.1 (Tarana) released
- December 2007 AOL Desktop (a.k.a. AOL 10.0) launched
- May 2008 AOL Desktop for Mac 1.0 officially launched
- September 2008 AOL Desktop 10.1 released
- February and November 2009 AOL 9.5 and 9.5 Refresh released (Classic)
- November 2010 AOL Desktop 9.6
- AOL began as a short-lived venture called Control Video Corporation (or CVC), founded by Bill von Meister. Its sole product was an online service called GameLine for the Atari 2600 video game console after von Meister’s idea of buying music on demand was rejected by Warner Brothers.
- Subscribers bought a modem from the company
for $49.95 and paid a one-time $15 setup fee. GameLine permitted subscribers to temporarily download games and keep track of high scores, at a cost of $1 per game. The telephone disconnected and the downloaded game would remain in GameLine’s Master Module and playable until the user turned off the console or downloaded another game
Some career guides still warn against using an AOL email address on your resume.