America Online Inc. launched a new version of its instant-messaging service yesterday, integrating e-mail, text messaging, and voice and video chatting into one online software program.
Triton, as the program is known, is available on Windows computers and can be downloaded at www.aim.com.
The service will aggregate many of the services that Dulles-based AOL already offers, including calls between computers, online streaming radio, and links to its home pages.
AOL hopes that the new version will encourage more people to use its services, which, in turn, could help the company attract more advertising dollars. Other Internet giants, including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., have taken similar approaches.
"We anticipate that the AIM Triton service will accelerate the growing use of voice, video and desktop-to-mobile messaging across all users," said Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president and general manager for AIM and ICQ, another instant-messaging service owned by AOL.
Triton improves the voice quality on Internet-based computer-to-computer calling and the ability to conference call up to 20 others also using AIM voice chat.
The software organizes simultaneous instant-message conversations by putting them under tabs. It also includes an early version of live video-conferencing software and the ability to save up to 5,000 contacts in an address book.