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Aol Goes Free In The Uk

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Martin Burns

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User since: 26 Apr 1999

Articles written: 143

Following the success of free ISPs such as FreeServe, AOL launches a free service in the UK today.

The new service is to be branded Netscape Online, presumably to maintain revenues from existing AOL customers. However, Netscape Online - a joint venture with German publisher Bertelsmann - will charge no monthly fees. This is only possible in the UK market, where ISPs receive a share of the phone charges incurred during a user's connect time.

AOL expect the service to do well by strength of their existing brand - market leaders such as FreeServe and have traded on the strong UK brands of electrical retailer Dixons, and The Sun newspaper respectively. Netscape Online is also expected to be differentiated from AOL's family and Compuserve's small business markets by targetting the new lad segment. Given the diversification of the Net from its original young male audience, the success of this stereotypical strategy remains to be seen.

More info at the BBC.

Martin Burns has been doing this stuff since Netscape 1.0 days. Starting with the communication ends that online media support, he moved back through design, HTML and server-side code. Then he got into running the whole show. These days he's working for these people as a Project Manager, and still thinks (nearly 6 years on) it's a hell of a lot better than working for a dot-com. In his Copious Free Time™, he helps out running a Cloth Nappies online store.

Amongst his favourite things is ZopeDrupal, which he uses to run his personal site. He's starting to (re)gain a sneaking regard for ECMAscript since the arrival of unobtrusive scripting.

He's been a member of since the very early days, a board member, a president, a writer and even contributed a modest amount of template code for the current site. Above all, he likes to do things because it knowingly chooses to do so, rather than randomly stumbling into them. He's also one of the boys and girls who beervolts in the UK, although the arrival of small children in his life have knocked the frequency for 6.

Most likely to ask: Why would a client pay you to do that?

Least likely to ask: Why isn't that navigation frame in Flash?

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