AOL Launches Broadband Client Beta

Dubbed Open Ride, the client enables users to see all their tools on one page versus previously having to toggle back and forth between windows.



AOL has launched in beta an upgrade of its broadband client that consolidates the Internet service provider's core offerings on one user interface.

OpenRide, formerly codenamed Streamliner, uses a quad-view design that displays on a single UI AOL's email, instant messaging service and address book, a Web browser and entertainment center and player for music, videos and photos. Having the offerings on one page avoids having users jump between multiple windows.

OpenRide, made available Wednesday, can be resized while keeping the four panes in view. Items from one pane can be dragged and dropped to another. The date for final release hasn't been set.

AOL this month said it would offer its paid service and email at no charge to broadband users as the Internet service provider transitioned to an ad-supported Web portal. AOL still charges for its dial-up service.

The change was less a choice and more a necessity as AOL, a division of Time Warner Inc., saw millions of dial-up subscribers leave over the last few years after switching to broadband.

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