From the company that inspired a South Florida hardcore band in the mid-90s to write a song titled “America on line” summing up the pain of using and being used by said online service proclaimed, “…there’s a difference between using and being used, you’re being abused…” comes the new America Online.
Since 2006 AOL has been a free service. No longer requiring the $24 each month for unlimited service the once dial-up ISP giant has been struggling to tread water with concrete shoes made by Google, Myspace, Yahoo and other innovating industry behemoths.
After an innovation hiatus, the company is making sub-headlines again by introducing its first made for Mac OS application in years called AOL Desktop that features MapQuest integration that is apparently ready for mobile use and may soon include GPS for AIM users to find each other. Could be exciting if Google doesn’t beat them to it.
Finally, AOL has made itself a partner in the NBC/Fox venture called Hulu. You may have heard the sad news about Apple and NBC not getting along on with an iTunes contract. Hulu is going to essentially be to iTunes what the Zune is to the iPod. But either way, AOL is making press releases and innovation on any scale is good for everybody.