Great story on the history of AOL Instant Messenger, including interviews with a couple of the key folks who brought AIM to life. Defining quote from Eric Bosco, my old boss, on the tensions between the AIM (new) part of the company, and the AOL (old) part: "It was always AIM versus AOL. They hated us."
In many ways, AOL Instant Messenger was right in line with the times, just at a company hanging on to a business model that would soon become obsolete.
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