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AOL today announced the launch of AIM Express, a new Flash-based Web version of the popular AIM service. Available here, AIM Express offers users a clean design and a richer Web-based instant messaging experience with easy access to their buddies from nearly anywhere.

Features include:

* Tabbed IM Conversations: The entire chat experience is contained within one Web page. IM conversations open up as separate tabs within the AIM Buddy List, which takes up just one-quarter of the screen, so that multiple windows are not open on the desktop.

* Status Message: This feature lets users broadcast a personal message to friends on their Buddy List feature regardless of whether or not they are online. AIM Express users can now see at-a-glance what their friends are doing at any given time.

* Text Message Mode: AIM Express users can now send text messages by entering the cell phone numbers of friends and family on their AIM Buddy Lists.

* Buddy Rollover: Users can mouse over their buddies’ screen names to view buddy icons and current status messages.

* Browser Compatibility: AIM Express is compatible with the most popular Web browsers, including Internet Explorer (6 & 7), Firefox (2 & 3) and Safari (2 & 3) for Mac users.
 

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For the most part, not a particularly significant announcemnent outside of the U.S.A. Americans seem to be the only ones who use AIM in large numbers.
 
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