AOL Exits VoIP Arena - Again

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Randy Savicky
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AOL Exits VoIP Arena - Again

AOL is dropping VoIP yet again. I'm getting dizzy from all the times they've entered the VoIP space, exited, and then re-entered.

First a history lesson on their starts & stops in VoIP/telephony.

In 2006, AOL gives up on Total Talk and throws in the towel on Total Talk, a broadband Vonage-like service (ATA), supposedly in favor of PhoneLine a 100% software-based (softphone) VoIP solution that supports both outbound and inbound (DID number) dialing.
In 2007, AIM Call Out launches offering SkypeOut like features from the popular AIM IM client. AOL has once again entered the VoIP arena. This time it appears they're offering outbound calls to PSTN number only. I see no mention of inbound PSTN calls that AIM Phoneline supports.
In 2008, AOL launches Open Voice API

And now this blog post today (2009) from VoIPGuides:
AIM Call out VOIP Service by AOL is in the process of a shutdown. Unfortunately, They never took off with their VOIP Service,it was used only by a small number of people. I understand the pain to run a costly VOIP company and having a bunch of VOIP developers sitting in your office with no profit coming from the service.

So it would appears AOL is once again cold on VoIP. I tried to confirm this by downloading AIM myself, but inexplicably their download page only lists Win 98 as a supported Windows option (See image below). They don't list Windows XP or Vista. Obviously, if AOL can't hire webmasters and designers to update their website regularly, then obviously they have financial problems. I wouldn't be surprised to see AIM die in the next year or so. I don't know anyone that uses it anymore. Skype does IM just as well, has a huge community, and it's got VoIP!

aol-aim-old-windows.jpg


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