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AOL AIM is Dead

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Way back in the day, your only real options were AIM and ICQ so everyone had an AIM and ICQ address. Then Yahoo came around and took most of the world by storm (strangely, it never really took off in Asia) and then MSN/Hotmail. Now it's GTalk, SMS, Skype, MSN/Hotmail, Facebook, TF (LOL), Yahoo and . . . well, if you were going to say AIM, you're wrong.

The AOL Instant Messenger group took the deepest cut so far. A former AOL employee said the group was "eviscerated and now only consists of support staff." This person, who asked not to be named because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the company, added that "nearly all of the West Coast tech team has been killed."

You don't need to be a genius to figure out that no developers means no new releases. Basically the product will die a long, slow death. It will fall farther and farther behind the competition until people are left asking, "What the heck is AIM?"

Not that this is anything new to AOL. They have a very looooooooooong history of buying companies with cool technologies and then killing them. I have seen AOL snap up so many promising companies and then eventually layoff and reassign people until the product just disappeared.

Like GNN, which was launched in 1993 and became one of the bigger sites on the internet. I guess if you had to describe them you could say they were like a crude version of Wikipedia. They allowed certain trusted experts to write content for the GNN network and publish on their service.

AOL purchased GNN in 1995 and then decided to discontinue the service in 1996. They pulled all of that content offline, lost forever. GNN also owned NaviPress and NaviServer, two excellent web products which, much like AIM, they decided to discontinue but still distribute. Eventually the products were surpassed by other products and AOL eventually killed them both.

What other technologies have died that you miss?

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