51 Facts About AOL Desktop


AOL Desktop grew to become the largest online service, displacing established players like CompuServe and The Source.

FactSnippet No. 702,960

AOL Desktop was one of the early pioneers of the Internet in the mid-1990s, and the most recognized brand on the web in the United States.

FactSnippet No. 702,961

AOL Desktop rapidly shrank thereafter, partly due to the decline of dial-up and rise of broadband.

FactSnippet No. 702,962

AOL Desktop was eventually spun off from Time Warner in 2009, with Tim Armstrong appointed the new CEO.

FactSnippet No. 702,963

AOL Desktop began in 1983, as a short-lived venture called Control Video Corporation, founded by William von Meister.

FactSnippet No. 702,964

AOL Desktop quickly surpassed GEnie, and by the mid-1990s, it passed Prodigy and CompuServe.

FactSnippet No. 702,965

In November 1994, AOL Desktop purchased Booklink for its web browser, to give its users web access.

FactSnippet No. 702,966

In 1996, AOL Desktop replaced Booklink with a browser based on Internet Explorer, allegedly in exchange for inclusion of AOL Desktop in Windows.

FactSnippet No. 702,967

AOL Desktop offered the first real-time homework help service, the first service by children, for children, the first online service for parents, the first online courses, the first omnibus service for teachers, the first online exhibit, the first parental controls, and many other online education firsts.

FactSnippet No. 702,968

AOL Desktop purchased search engine WebCrawler in 1995, but sold it to Excite the following year; the deal made Excite the sole search and directory service on AOL Desktop.

FactSnippet No. 702,969

AOL Desktop charged its users an hourly fee until December 1996, when the company changed to a flat monthly rate of $19.

FactSnippet No. 702,970

In 1995 AOL Desktop was headquartered at 8619 Westwood Center Drive in the Tysons Corner CDP in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, near the Town of Vienna.

FactSnippet No. 702,971

AOL Desktop was quickly running out of room in October 1996 for its network at the Fairfax County campus.

FactSnippet No. 702,972

In mid-1996, AOL Desktop moved to 22000 AOL Desktop Way in Dulles, unincorporated Loudoun County, Virginia to provide room for future growth.

FactSnippet No. 702,973

In November 1998, AOL Desktop announced it would acquire Netscape, best known for their web browser, in a major $4.

FactSnippet No. 702,974

The decline continued though 2001, but even with the losses, AOL Desktop was among the internet giants that continued to outperform brick and mortar companies.

FactSnippet No. 702,975

The move was designed to reduce costs associated with the "Walled Garden" business model by reducing usage of AOL Desktop-owned access points and shifting members with high-speed internet access from client-based usage to the more lucrative advertising provider, AOL Desktop.

FactSnippet No. 702,976

Also that month, AOL Desktop informed its US customers it would be increasing the price of its dial-up access to US$25.

FactSnippet No. 702,977

However, AOL Desktop subsequently began offering unlimited dial-up access for $9.

FactSnippet No. 702,978

In December 2006, AOL Desktop closed their last remaining call center in the United States, "taking the America out of America Online" according to industry pundits.

FactSnippet No. 702,979

AOL Desktop management stressed "significant operations" will remain in Dulles, which included the company's access services and modem banks.

FactSnippet No. 702,980

In October 2007, AOL Desktop announced it would move one of its other headquarters from Loudoun County, Virginia, to New York City, while continuing to operate its Virginia offices.

FactSnippet No. 702,981

Under Armstrong's leadership, AOL Desktop began taking steps in a new business direction, marked by a series of acquisitions.

FactSnippet No. 702,982

AOL Desktop announced it would offer gross rating point guarantee for online video, mirroring the TV ratings system and guaranteeing audience delivery for online video advertising campaigns bought across its properties.

FactSnippet No. 702,983

Later that year, AOL Desktop acquired Vidible, which developed technology to help websites run video content from other publishers, and help video publishers sell their content to these websites.

FactSnippet No. 702,984

AOL Desktop had about two million dial-up subscribers at the time of the buyout.

FactSnippet No. 702,985

AOL Desktop acquired a number of businesses and technologies help to form ONE by AOL Desktop.

FactSnippet No. 702,986

AOL Desktop offers a range of integrated products and properties including communication tools, mobile apps and services and subscription packages.

FactSnippet No. 702,987

AOL Desktop is an internet suite produced by AOL from 2007 that integrates a web browser, a media player and an instant messenger client.

FactSnippet No. 702,988

Version 11 of AOL Desktop, was a total rewrite but maintained a similar user interface to the previous 9.

FactSnippet No. 702,989

The marketing tactic was criticized for its environmental cost, and AOL Desktop CDs were recognized as PC Worlds most annoying tech product.

FactSnippet No. 702,990

AOL Desktop used a system of volunteers to moderate its chat rooms, forums and user communities.

FactSnippet No. 702,991

AOL Desktop provided free access to community leaders in exchange for moderating the chat rooms, and this effectively made chat very cheap to operate, and more lucrative than AOL Desktop's other services of the era.

FactSnippet No. 702,992

In May 1999, two former volunteers filed a class-action lawsuit alleging AOL Desktop violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by treating volunteers like employees.

FactSnippet No. 702,993

The class action lawsuit dragged on for years, even after AOL Desktop ended the program and AOL Desktop declined as a major internet company.

FactSnippet No. 702,994

AOL Desktop has faced a number of lawsuits over claims that it has been slow to stop billing customers after their accounts have been canceled, either by the company or the user.

FactSnippet No. 702,995

Previously, AOL Desktop would add 15 seconds to the time a user was connected to the service and round up to the next whole minute .

FactSnippet No. 702,996

AOL Desktop disclosed its connection-time calculation methods to all of its customers and credited them with extra free hours.

FactSnippet No. 702,997

AOL Desktop was sued by the Ohio Attorney General in October 2003 for improper billing practices.

FactSnippet No. 702,998

AOL Desktop agreed to resolve any consumer complaints filed with the Ohio AG's office.

FactSnippet No. 702,999

In December 2006, AOL Desktop agreed to provide restitution to Florida consumers to settle the case filed against them by the Florida Attorney General.

FactSnippet No. 703,000

Many customers complained that AOL Desktop personnel ignored their demands to cancel service and stop billing.

FactSnippet No. 703,001

For several years, AOL Desktop had instituted minimum retention or "save" percentages, which consumer representatives were expected to meet.

FactSnippet No. 703,002

When Ferrari demanded that the account be canceled regardless, the AOL Desktop representative asked to speak with Ferrari's father, for whom the account had been set up.

FactSnippet No. 703,003

When CNBC reporters tried to have an account on AOL Desktop cancelled, they were hung up on immediately and it ultimately took more than 45 minutes to cancel the account.

FactSnippet No. 703,004

AOL Desktop estimated that it would lose more than six million subscribers over the following year.

FactSnippet No. 703,005

AOL Desktop did list the newsgroup in the alternative description view, but changed the description to "Flames and complaints about America Online".

FactSnippet No. 703,006

AOL Desktop then provided community-based message boards in lieu of Usenet.

FactSnippet No. 703,007

AOL Desktop has a detailed set of guidelines and expectations for users on their service, known as the Terms of Service .

FactSnippet No. 703,008

In early 2005, AOL Desktop stated its intention to implement a certified email system called Goodmail, which will allow companies to send email to users with whom they have pre-existing business relationships, with a visual indication that the email is from a trusted source and without the risk that the email messages might be blocked or stripped by spam filters.

FactSnippet No. 703,009

At one time, most AOL Desktop users had an online "profile" hosted by the AOL Desktop Hometown service.

FactSnippet No. 703,010