I’m asking because one of my primary annoyances is not having an all-in-one browser/IM/email client to usher ex-AOL users to once they’re ready to quit AOL. For years I’ve wanted to be able to say to them, “There’s this program named X that works just like AOL does, with instant messaging, email, and browsing all in one client, but it runs on a more modern layout engine, loads more pages the right way than AOL or IE does, and it’s safer to use and more enjoyable than AOL.”
Outside of SeaMonkey, there is nothing on the market that I know of that can replace not just what AOL has, but the way AOL combines it all into one client. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to just use Firefox and say, Yahoo! webmail and/or Outlook if you like, and to keep an AIM or MSN client on the computer for chat, but for people who have used AOL forever and like having all three tools ready-to-go in one browser, having a replacement for that would make it much easier for them to move away from AOL.
After receiving a comment on this blog today about jv16 2006 (someone used it to remove AOL from Vista, which I do not recommend anyone do with the 2006 version) I remembered the jv16 PT dev has come out with numerous updates of the program since he released the first 2009 version.
I gave the latest version, released on May 16th, a run about a month ago on my Vista install, and it performed admirably compared to previous versions. My only caveats are that it will always be slower, in my opinion, than jv16 PT 2006 was, but since the 2006 version doesn’t work all that well on Vista, that’s neither here nor there.
What does being a “consumer” mean to you?
When you’re using AOL’s software or ISP (or both) or visiting AOL.com to check your email, does doing those things make you feel like a “consumer”?
How does it feel to be a “consumer”?
Updated 2-26-09 with a separate review of AOL 9.5 and again on 2-28-09.
AOL has a new desktop client in Beta called AOL Classic. What’s exciting about it is…tabbed browsing! Do I hear you ask, “What else?” That’s it. What else do you need? Don’t tell me you “need” stuff like browser skins and add-ons…hey, I remember when people used Gopher and Archie to surf the Web…this is really modern compared to that. AOL even did something with the menus. After I got down rolling around in strong spasms of tremendous joy at the thought of being able to open…new tabs…in a classic AOL client, I installed the damn thing. That ended even the flimsiest notion of AOL Classic offering me much more than deja vu of why I canceled AOL three years ago.
All those tests I’ve written about doing to find the best software to remove AOL are finally done. Frankly, I’m a little surprised at the results.
Results: Just keep on using the same old programs to remove AOL.
You’d think I could do better than that, and I tried because I love how so many of you want to find the best ways to remove AOL, but I couldn’t come up with anything niftier than my current methods (well, I did find one Honorable Mention) – blame it on lack of better technology.
I cannot believe this thing. Seriously, I’m in awe. I’ve been eying it for months but never touched it because I wasn’t using Vista when I found it. And it’s just a simple, lowly batch script. Haven’t had much luck with those in the past!
Ran it just now and words can’t even do it justice – or maybe they can – let’s see: it bypasses AOL’s uninstaller entirely (except for one brief stop at the AOL Toolbar Uninstaller), removes almost every AOL reg entry (just 12 entries left afterward), and requires just one restart no matter how many AOL programs you’ve got installed. And it’s quick! Naturally I want to marry whoever wrote it – or at least reincarnate as him in my next life.
Vista users: try it. XP users: don’t. It only works on Vista, at least as far as I can tell.
You may get a few “cannot find uninstall.exe” warnings. Just click through them and the UA warnings (if UAC is enabled on your PC) – I promise, you won’t be sorry.
5-22-08, Update: This product made my Honorable Mention list as one of the three Greatest AOL Removal Products of All Time.
What’s wrong with AOL Desktop? Just about everything.
I tested AOL Desktop (also known as AOL Explorer – they’re more or less identical – update 5-21-08: the programs are offered as a combined download, but the similar name is for AOL Desktop Search, which was one of the downloads I chose; I regret the error) on dialup for a week, because I wanted to see what the broadband-unenabled go through these days, and the results weren’t pleasing.