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the web log of Simon Jessey

Saturday, October 12th, 2002

AOL 8.0 for Windows emerges

Last night, I upgraded to the latest America Online software, expecting to see big changes. Since the release of the Macintosh version, I was under the impression that the Windows version would also be built upon the Gecko platform. It appears this is not the case. I never use the AOL browser personally, but sites that I design will almost certainly have AOL users visiting them. Most AOL users upgrade to the latest release and with so many "members", it would have meant a significant shift in the browser statistics. Gecko-based browsers tend to be more standards-compliant than Internet Explorer 6.0 and it would have been nice to see AOL move into this realm. I confess I am rather disappointed about it.

I must say that this seems to be a strange move on America Online's part. With such a huge client base, AOL Time Warner could have wrestled quite a large percentage of users away from IE in favor of their own, excellent browser client. What reason could they have for not doing this? Perhaps the Windows version of a Gecko-based AOL was not ready. I will be reading other blogs and commentaries to see what people are saying about it.

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