June 15, 2006 10:02 AM PDT

AOL launches corporate IM beta

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AOL launched a public beta of its AIM Pro service on Wednesday, marking the latest industry titan to offer corporate America a business version of its instant-messaging service.

The AIM Pro service, professional edition beta, is a version of AOL's popular Instant Messenger that targets working professionals, small work groups and businesses.

The application is designed to integrate with Microsoft Outlook and provide access to AOL partner WebEx Communications for video conferencing and desktop sharing. The beta follows AOL's announcement in February that it would offer a subscription-based instant-messaging service to corporations and business users.

Although the test version is currently free, AOL said it plans to later charge a nominal fee for the AIM Pro professional edition service.

The company is also gearing up to launch a public beta of its AIM Pro Enterprise Instant Messaging edition next week. This edition will feature centralized administrative controls for larger companies, as well as the AIM invitation software to improve the ease of joining a video conference, the company said.

A final version of the Professional and the Enterprise editions are expected in the fall, a company representative said.

The Enterprise edition will also carry a subscription fee, once the final version becomes available.

Other industry players, including Microsoft and Yahoo, have dabbled in corporate IM for the past several years. In addition, a number of companies have launched efforts to make public IM services more secure in the corporate world.

See more CNET content tagged:
AOL Instant Messenger, America Online Inc., beta, videoconferencing, Time Warner Inc.


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What about AOL 10?
3 years since AOL 9 and not even a beta in sight. Sad.
Posted by bdkennedy1 (58 comments )
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The question is: Do you trust AOL?
OK, show of hands. Who trusts AOL, or any company for that
matter, with your company secrets? IMO, any communications
running on someone else's servers is subject to monitoring.

When my company decided to start using IM, we set up our own
SSL encrypted Jabber servers. (Jabber is a protocol used by Google
Talk, iChat, etc.)

Commercial versions are available, but we chose to go open source.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
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Isn't this AIM Pro service several years too late? What took so
Posted by sipeter (17 comments )
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