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RealTime IT News

America Online Lends E-Mail to Compaq, Casio

America Online Inc. forged agreements Wednesday to enable AOL members to access their e-mail via handheld devices from Compaq Computer Corp. and Casio Computer Co.

AOL (AOL) is developing software that will allow clients to use Compaq's (CPQ) Aero and Casio's CASSEOPEIA devices to send and receive their AOL e-mail. AOL will provide the software for free.

The companies have also agreed to work together on future initiatives that explore development of AOL interactive services and features for Casio's and Compaq's consumer electronic devices.

"Through this agreement, AOL members can use the Compaq Aero to quickly and easily communicate wherever they are," said Ted Clark, vice president of Compaq's iAppliance division.

"Our 'AOL Anywhere' strategy extends popular AOL applications to emerging interactive platforms beyond the PC, including Casio's CASSIOPEIA palm-size PCs.said Barry Schuler, AOL's president of interactive services.

In related AOL news, the online giant kicked off the MacWorld conference in San Francisco with a sneak preview of the beta version of its AOL 5.0 for Macintosh.

Through a new welcome screen, AOL 5.0 for the Macintosh will provide immediate access to the service's most popular features, including direct access to the AOL Channel Guide, e-mail -- with new e-mail "signatures" -- top news headlines, weather, and sports.

Features of AOL 5.0 for the Macintosh include:

  • On AOL 5.0 for the Macintosh, the "You've Got Pictures" icon will appear, and the familiar AOL "You've Got Mail" voice will greet people with an audio message when their photos have arrived online
  • "My Calendar," the new interactive calendar that will allow members to plan and manage important parts of their life by tracking appointments, key dates, and other personal events -- all online
  • The new "My Places" feature, that will allow members to personalize their AOL Welcome Screen with a list of sites they use most often
  • "AOL Search," the all-new search product that will enable AOL members to search the entire Internet and AOL's exclusive content without having to leave the AOL service