The AOL wall started crumbling about a year ago when the Internet Service Provider decided to allow non-AOL subscribers to access content through AOL homepages. This move enabled the company to gain a small plot on the Google/Yahoo!/MSN- dominated land mass. But it just wasn’t enough to gain access to the millions of eyeballs the other advertiser-supported models were garnering. Just yesterday, Time Warner Inc, AOL’s parent company, announced that its software, e-mail, IM, a local phone number with unlimited incoming calls as well as safety and security features would be free for its broadband users starting in September.
It’s cool that AOL has finally gotten that information should be free, but will it be enough to entice the 2.8 million United States subscribers that defected in 2005 to return — or even attract new users?