AOL SENDS AN (INSTANT) MESSAGE

The instant messaging war continues: AT&T's WorldNet subsidiary on Wednesday released a new version of its instant-messaging program, AT&T I M Here, designed to let its customers trade instant messages with each other, with users of Microsoft's MSN Messenger and with America Online's 19 million customers. AOL, however, blocked access to its system shortly afterwards; a company spokeswoman declined to comment. Microsoft received the same treatment from the Dulles-based online service earlier this year when it tried to connect its own MSN Messenger tool to AOL's instant-messaging network.

STORY UPDATE;

Talk Back To The Mac

Also on Wednesday, IBM released a Macintosh version of its ViaVoice speech-dictation software; this $90 program, previously reviewed favorably in these pages, is the first its kind to be available on that platform. David Pogue, MacWorld columnist and author of a stack of Mac-related books, said that voice-dictation software was "the last bastion of deprivation for the 25 million Mac fans"; a victim of typing-induced repetitive stress injury himself, he had purchased a Windows laptop just to use a Windows-only speech-recognition program. Voice-recognition programs from Dragon Systems and Phillips, other big names in this category, are also on the way.

-- Compiled by Mike Musgrove

Top-Selling Software (week of November 21-27):

1. Pokemon Studio Blue, Mattel Interactive

2. Pokemon Studio Red, Mattel Interactive

3. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, Microsoft

4. MP Roller Coaster Tycoon, Hasbro Interactive

5. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Disney

6. Microsoft Age of Empires II: Age Of Kings, Microsoft

7. Microsoft Windows 98 2nd Edition Upgrade, Microsoft

8. Norton System Works 2000 3.0, Symantec

9. Deer Hunter III, GT Interactive

10. Barbie Generation Girl Gotta Groove, Mattel Interactive

Source: PC Data

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