> You know, I really need some AOL-er to forward Microscum's rehashing
> of Y2K FUD and CIA propaganda.
> Keep up the good work GG, it sure beats all the bitful posts we used
> to have around here.
AOL Chief Steve Case Answers Some Questions
MATT BEER c.1998 San Francisco Examiner
SAN FRANCISCO -- While Wall Street analysts chewed over America Online's
$4.2 billion acquisition of Internet pioneer Netscape Communications Corp.,
computer users were asking what was in it for them.
The San Francisco Examiner posed some user questions to AOL chief
executive Steve Case in a telephone interview Tuesday from his headquarters
in Dulles, Va.:
Question: Will AOL cost more?
Q: Is AOL going to invest in system improvements so I can get on-line faster?
A: Yes. We've invested over a billion dollars over the last year in system
improvements, and that continues. We've made tremendous progress over the
last year and a half in improving the quality of access. The busy signals
that we had a real problem with a year and a half to two years ago have
largely subsided. There are still certain cities at certain times of the
day where there may be problems, but it's not a significant national
Q: How else will the merger affect AOL right now?
A: The merger won't be complete for three or four months. Then over time,
we'll incrementally add functionality to AOL where it makes sense. But for
now, the AOL service, the AOL experience, will stay pretty much the same.
(The merger) is more about building the Netscape-Netcenter brand to reach
another audience. It really has less to do with the AOL service itself.
Q: Will Netscape keep being updated?
Q: Will Netscape continue to be free?
Q: Will the Netscape browser continue to let me browse the whole Web or
just AOL-affiliated sites?
A: Everything, absolutely. We recognize that there's a lot of momentum for
what Netscape is doing. Tens of millions of people use the software. Nine
million in the last year have registered as users of the Netscape-Netcenter
Our strategy, when we do acquisitions - we acquired Compuserve a year ago
- is to try to allow them to run as an independent entity and to provide
support wherever it's helpful.
Take the ICQ (Web-chatting software) audience, for example, which we
acquired six months ago. A lot of people said, ``Oh, what's going to happen
here? AOL is going to acquire this, start charging for it and start putting
ads on.'' Six months later, the audience there has doubled, and they're as
happy as can be with the enhancements we've added to the service.
All of the fears have been for naught. The same will be true here.
Q: Will my AOL Web browser change?
Q: Is AOL going to eventually wind up being totally on the Web?
A: We will use whatever technologies seem appropriate to create the best
possible experience for consumers. We're doing more and more things on the
Web, but there's still benefits to using some of the capabilities we've got
uniquely on AOL.
(The San Francisco Examiner Web site is at http://www.examiner.com )
Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're full up here. ...Nicholson
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