With all the new hardware and software appearing on
the market, everyone is pondering the age old question, "Should
In response to a growing trend of literacy reported by recent AOL
surveys, we at BBspot Research Labs decided that a review of some
of the new features in AOL 7.0 might be of assistance in answering
that oft-asked question. We were amazed to discover that AOL 7.0
has been extensively enhanced, with many new features stemming from
common complaints and customer service issues which have arisen over
Through an inside source, we have managed to get a hold of a list
of the issues and how they have been addressed:
"The interface is too complicated"
"The bright, flashing colors give me fits!"
"Those pop-ups are really annoying!"
The interface has been greatly simplified. There is now a single window, called
The Desktop, in which information is displayed. A further simplification makes
use of just one mouse pointer and a single button on the screen at any given
time. "We codenamed it Interface-One
and our motto during development was: One User, One Computer, One Window, One
Mouse, One Pointer, One Button, One Mission. This was essential, because it
all adds up to 7, as in 7.0!" stated our insider. (We were afraid to ask
what their motto for AOL 8.0 was going to be!) Additional improvements include
removal of all pop-up menus and a reduction to a 16-color pastel scheme for
"The computer should know what I want!"
Licensing Amazon.coms one-click technology, AOL has built upon this remarkable
technology to bring us their One-Button Interface. The single button is context
sensitive and makes use of the most advanced AI algorithms to understand the
user's intentions. For example, when clicking on the button after hearing the
telltale "Youve got mail!" alert, The Desktop may switch over
to the integrated AOLmail application. In other situations, the One-Button
will behave like a back button, or an "e-mail this to friend" button,
or even an shutdown button depending completely on the intentions of the user.
As someone uses it longer, AOL 7.0 will become more in tune with their personality,
the better to serve to them the content they desire. We were interested to
note that initial studies did indicate some early confusion amongst users,
giving rise to complaints during the beta testing, but all of the users eventually
came to the realization that the advanced AI truly understood their needs better
than they themselves did.
"I'm too busy chatting to make dinner."
"I didn't have time to go get the concert tickets."
"I can't reach the radio to change the station."
One of the most remarkable additions to AOL 7.0 is their Comprehensive Needs
Server. This incorporates such features as Radio@AOL, AOL Box Office, and AOL
Grocer which allow the users to accomplish complicated tasks with just a few
clicks of the One-Button. No more worries about deciding what to eat or listen
to, let alone even driving somewhere, as the Comprehensive Needs Server, combined
with the One-Button technology, automatically interprets the user's intentions
and handles ordering and scheduling delivery automatically.
"Sometimes the screen gets blurry!"
"My eyes get tired."
"I've fallen and I can't get up!"
AOL 7.0 monitors the users reaction times to new information being displayed,
and if the user starts to become sluggish or unresponsive, the Comprehensive
Needs Server will automatically order an appropriate beverage from Starbucks
for immediate delivery. If the activity still has not picked up within an hour,
an ambulance will automatically be dispatched to the user's residence, making
this a very popular feature amongst the elderly and users prone to psychosomatic
That sums up our findings on the new enhancements to AOL 7.0, but
in the interests of fair reporting, we need to state that not all
issues have been addressed in this new version, although we are told
that upcoming releases will take care of them:
"My arm gets tired moving the mouse so much!"
"i ca ;t typ."
"Sometimes the internet blocks my view of what's on TV!" [AOLTV users]
"AOL loads too slow."
"Politics are boring."
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