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AOL is jumping on the webmail bandwagon.

From today it's begun beta testing aim.com - its free web-based email service - available to all net users and not just those dwindling numbers of AOL subscribers. This week it reported that 2.3m subscribers went AWOL last year.

Anyhow, the service is available via AOL's Instant Messenger (IM) service and includes a whole host of stuff such as spam and email virus protection and 2GB of online email storage.

The interface and underlying technology for AOL's AIM Mail service is based on technology from Mailblocks, a consumer web-based email service acquired by AOL in July 2004.

In April AOL unveiled its internet telephony business, unveiling a number of calling plans designed both to keep existing subscribers and win new business in the US. ®

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