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AOL to Launch Custom Domain Service

AOL has plans to offer a custom domain service, BetaNews has learned. The offering, called AOL MYeAddress, will begin as a beta test later Thursday, with an official launch coming this summer.

Users would be able to select a custom domain to use in place of their regular aol.com address. From there, the user could link up to six additional screen names to use the new domain. The service would only be open to AOL subscribers, and the screen names could be across multiple accounts, an AOL spokesperson told BetaNews.

“If you set up a domain and want to invite your cousin who is also an AOL member, but has his or her own account, you can all use the same domain,” she said.

The service will not deactivate a user’s screen name; mail sent to the screen name as well as the custom domain would go to the same mailbox. The company also plans to eventually offer tools that would allow for a domain owner to create a Web site as well.

Microsoft launched a similar service in November of last year, called Windows Live Custom Domains. The program allows the user to have up to 40 e-mail accounts, along with addresses that would work with MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces.

Additionally, a user can point their domains to their MSN Space, however a custom Web site is not available. That option is covered under Microsoft’s new Office Live product.

Windows Live Custom Domains is a free service, as is AOL MYeAddress while in beta. Office Live is currently free in beta form, but will eventually cost up to $30 per month depending on the package selected.

AOL has not detailed pricing for MyeAddress when the service officially debuts.

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