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AOL testing toolbar for the Firefox

Posted by inet - 2005-12-24

America Online has begun testing an AOL toolbar for the Firefox browser and a version of its Web-mail service that features an integrated calendar.
AOL's Web mail service, available to AOL paying subscribers and to users of its free AIM instant messaging service, is being integrated with AOL Calendar, says an AOL spokesperson.

Previously reserved for AOL subscribers, the stand-alone service AOL Calendar is now also available to AIM users on the Web.

Currently, AOL's Web mail service has an address book, but lacks a calendar, the spokesperson said. Changes users make to their calendars in AOL Calendar will be reflected in the Web mail service's calendar, and vice versa, she said.

In a later beta, AOL will test a feature that will let users with multiple AOL and AIM screen names log in once to the Web mail service and check their multiple inboxes. Currently, users have to log in and log off to check each screen name's inbox, the spokesperson said.

Firefox Toolbar Offered

Meanwhile, AOL is also testing a new toolbar for The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox, a popular open-source browser that since being released about a year ago has achieved a market share of between 8 percent and 9 percent.

AOL has a toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer, but this would be its first for Firefox, the spokesperson said. AOL's free toolbar for Firefox will provide shortcuts to AOL content and services, such as Web search and e-mail.

The beta version of the Web mail service is available to AOL subscribers and AIM users via the AOL Beta Central Web site. Meanwhile, the AOL toolbar for Firefox can be downloaded by anyone using the Firefox browser from AOL Beta Central.

AOL plans to permanently add the integrated calendar and the screen-name linking features to the Web mail service in early 2006, the spokesperson said. There is no timetable yet for when the AOL toolbar for Firefox will exit its beta test.

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