As part of its reincarnation, America Online Inc. is creating its own software for browsing the Web and playing movies and songs. It's a question of staying relevant in an increasingly broadband world.
AOL got its start as a dial-up Internet service provider, connecting millions of first-time users with software that had to be installed on computers and often made some serious modifications to the operating system.
That approach no longer makes sense, said Kerry Pearce-Parkins, director of AOL Product Management. For one, corporations generally prohibit their employees from installing software. That means many subscribers can't access AOL programming during the day.
And because broadband users get their Internet connection through a company other than AOL, they no longer need a software package that includes access tools.
That's why AOL is building a standalone Web browser, while keeping an all-in-one package available for those who really want it.
The browser's core will be Microsoft Corp.'s market-dominant Internet Explorer. Though AOL financed an organization behind a competing browser called Firefox, Pearce-Parkins said the company stuck with IE so users won't have to make "a leap of faith."
But AOL engineers are working to add such features as tabbed browsing, letting users open new Web pages without cluttering the screen with new windows. Unlike tabbed browsing in the Opera and Firefox browsers, AOL's will display a mini-version of the Web page, or thumbnail, as users scroll over a tab.
The AOL Browser will also have tools to thwart e-mail scams known as phishing and to index and search files on the user's computer.
But most importantly for the company, the browser will incorporate several ways to drive traffic to AOL programming and products, increasing ad opportunities.
The new AOL Media Player, built on AOL-owned Winamp technology, will also seek to integrate software with AOL's online radio stations and music store.
"Access to the AOL content and services is always a click away," Pearce-Parkins said.
The programs are expected to be ready for free download early next year.
1. AOL ：American On-Line , 美国在线服务公司。美国在线在提供在线服务的同时，也是一个通过拨号接入因特网的服务提供商。对这样的企业来说，DSL与CATV线路等宽带的普及将令公司不可避免的面临重大的考验。
dial-up Internet service provider：就是说拨号上网服务提供商。
其他类似的词汇还有ISP：Internet Service Provider， Internet服务提供商. ICP：Internet Content Provider，Internet内容提供商.
2. Relevant：有关的, 相应的。
Relevant to sth表示与什么有关，切题的意思。比如：facts relevant to the case, 与本案相关的事实依据。
新闻中的“staying relevant in an increasingly broadband world”表示满足日益增多的宽带用户的需求。
3. make sense表示某事有意义，行得通。
新闻中的no longer makes sense就是行不通了的意思。我们还可以说make sense of sth弄懂晦涩难懂的东西，比如Can you make any sense of the sentence?你能看懂那个句子吗？
其他的习惯用法还有out of one’s senses愚蠢，精神不正常,对应的in one’s senses就是清醒，理智的意思。比如How could you do that? you must be out of your senses!你怎么会那么做呢？你一定是疯了。
4. Subscriber：订户, 签署者, 捐献者的意思。新闻中指的是AOL的用户。
5. dominant有统治权的, 占优势的, 支配的。
新闻中“Microsoft Corp.'s market-dominant Internet Explorer”指的是微软公司设计的在浏览器市场占绝对优势的IE浏览器。
6. Finance: n.财政, 金融的意思，新闻中是给什么指供经费的意思。
financed an organization behind a competing browser意思是美国在线资助了一家公司开发与微软竞争的网页浏览器。
7. Leap：跳跃, 飞跃的意思。
新闻中的“so users won't have to make "a leap of faith."”意思是这样一来客户就无需改变自己的使用习惯。
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