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AOL Desktop for Windows XP & Windows Vista launched

AOL Desktop (download it for Windows XP/Vista from CNET Download.com) is a new, free download that collects most of that brand’s services, such as Mail and AIM, into one location.

This is an interesting, old-school approach to organizing Web-based content on the desktop, unlike so much new webware that leans on the browser as the portal for anywhere-access to services. Another recently-released download that depends upon the Internet for most functionality is Microsoft’s Windows Live apps bundle. However, while that package adds useful and novel tools, the AOL portal left me puzzled.

The AOL Desktop download for Windows XP and Vista took a couple of minutes, and installation another five minutes with either Express and Custom choices. I prefer the latter because by default, Express alters your default browser to include the AOL Toolbar, and it sets AOL as the search engine and home page. Thoughtfully, AOL asks your Internet connection type to tailor the experience to those with slow or fast access. (On a related note, there’s also a beta version of AOL Desktop for Mac, a different product, which I haven’t tested.)

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AOL, AOL Desktop, Windows, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Launch

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