Sunday, July 01, 2007

Aol.in ???????




aol.in recently tried to invade Indian Internet user base with a bang. It is trying every idea and pushing every effort to win Indian Internet users.

You can find aol.in advertisement in virtually every media. Indian blogs – where Adsense advertisements were embedded in their blog posts - were bombarded with aol.in advertisement. You can see a performer blowing flames in aol.in advertisement – can it blow out other players – Yahoo or Google? Certainly not. Why? Let us see.

Completely blown out with aol’s flame that I encountered everywhere, finally I opened an email account on aol.in.

Aol.in exactly looks like Yahoo!. Its appearance is exactly Yahoo! look alike and at times you forget that you are not in Yahoo!. Further, there is nothing new in aol.in’s interface and it is crowded with flash based advertisement. The interface takes time to load completely. Though for slower connection, it has older interface that loads a bit faster but comes with some less functionality. I wanted to test its Unicode Hindi handling capabilities. For this, I send a Hindi mail to this new aol.in account and send another one from this account.

And, predictably, result came out – the same Question marks…??????

Though the Unicode Hindi matter in the body of email remain intact, its From / To and Subject field gets corrupted.

Aol.in is trying to invade Indian internet user base with a new aol.in brand name, but it had miserably failed in addressing Indian Language’s Unicode issue – or it is luring only Indians who are using English?

Will aol.in be able to get the taste of success in India? Only time will tell. Since it is not offering anything new that is to be noticed upon, users may remain shy away from aol.in for quite some time. And, unless there were some compelling reason, no one will switch to aol.in either.

And, yes, one thing you can bank upon - aol.in handles spam perfectly – at least it seems. It puts my own mail in to spam folder that I had send from that alternative mail address which I had used to register to create my new aol.in account!

Verdict: for Hindi Unicode – Gmail and iGoogle are the best, and you don’t need to look beyond that!

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