AIM Sync Beta Links Up With Outlook

Today, America Online will make AIM Sync by Intellisync widely available as an open beta test. Deepening its commitment to provide its members with open e-mail access, AIM Sync integrates AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) presence awareness into Microsoft Outlook and is exposed throughout key points of the software.

Open e-mail access represents AOL's continued progress away from a single integrated client for e-mail. As first reported by BetaNews, AIM Sync uses the familiar Running Man icon as notice of a contact's presence on the AIM service. Users can see in real-time when friends, family or co-workers are online.

Like Microsoft's Windows Messenger before it, AIM now brings the immediacy of IM over e-mail. One click on the Running Man initiates a real-time messaging session from within Outlook.

The Running Man can be spotted in the address field on Outlook e-mails and Outlook Contacts, address and phone list views, along with address v-cards. A splash screen is displayed for several seconds when Outlook starts up.

Users of Microsoft Outlook 2002 and 2003 have the option of either adding contacts to their Buddy List either by their Screen Name or mobile telephone number. Users are added to the Recent Buddies list in AIM 5.9 (or above) at a limit of 210 Screen Names minus the Buddy List.

In order to encourage its installed base of millions of AIM users to participate in the new service, AOL has turned to viral marketing: AIM Sync users can invite friends and colleagues to participate in the service. It should be noted that AOL discourages its enterprise customers from downloading and using the beta.

AIM Sync for Intellisync 1.0 Beta is available for download via FileForum.

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