There are good things to be said for AOL; it makes using the Web a relatively easy, painless, and probably safer than without it. Designed as the father of all portals, it made users trade some speed, some lack of choice and options, some absence of obvious merchandising, for an interface for the non-technical, casual, or family user. For a first time user of the internet, it has its place, as long as that person is willing to pay the price( and try getting them to stop billing you after you switch ISPS).
However, AOL is just no longer really competitive, thanks to an abundance of local and national ISP choices, and thanks to other viable portals.
The new Portal War, started by Google (bless them) is now forcing other Web entities to improve what they are offering, beginning with adequate and FREE mailbox limits. As Google continues to expand it's utility, so will the other major players, MSN and Yahoo most importantly.
And the new browser war, so successfully launched by Mozilla and the thousands of "spread firefoxers" will no doubt even shake up MS complacent attitude to improving IE;it will certainly lead to other (and probably better) browsers being offered to a security conscious user base. Competition, which had been lacking, is now about to cause new and significant improvements for all netizens.
Here is a reference to the AP ariticlehttp://24hour.startribune.com/24hour/techn...p-9873075c.html
accessed 12/13/2004, a reprint of an APon-line article.
Edited by jgweed, 13 December 2004 - 07:16 PM.