Feeds

AOL hot on Freeserve's heels

Or is it? And at what price?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

AOL claims to be on the brink of deposing Freeserve from its top slot as number one ISP in Britain. Andreas Schmidt, AOL Europe's head man, said that AOL's British concerns -- AOL, CompuServe and Netscape Online -- had a combined membership of some 1.6 million active users. Freeserve has just 75,000 more users, which means if it can't feel the hot air of AOL breathing on its neck then it should. Interestingly, Freeserve doesn't seem to be all that bothered. Far from getting worked up about it, a spokesman for the Dixons spin-off questioned the validity of AOL's data. "AOL is not being specific enough," he said. "Some of the figures need to be qualified... they need clarification." As you'd expect, AOL denied that the figures were inflated in any way claiming that they represented active users within the last 40 days. "We couldn't get away with making them up," said an AOL spokeswoman. So is Freeserve accusing the chairman of AOL Europe of telling porkies? Who knows? Who cares? If AOL has to quote the combined resources of three ISPs just to try and score a PR point over Freeserve, then good luck to them. As far as the figures make out, CompuServe (400,000 users) and Netscape Online (400,000 users) have not bothered the actuaries for some time now. Only AOL -- which has been at the centre of a massive PR and ad campaign publicising its 1p a minute offer for Net access -- has shown any sign of progress. AOL wouldn't say how much this latest campaign has cost, but you can bet it's a fair old whack -- and all for an extra 200,000 users. Only those within AOL will know if it's money well spent. Elsewhere, AOL has described weekend press reports that AOL Inc is looking to buy Bertelsmann's 50 per cent stake in AOL Europe as "pure market speculation". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?