Internet users can choose between many different Web browsing programs. All of these programs allow you to look at different websites and have such basic features as saving favorite sites and searching the Web. One of the most popular Web browsers is Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which comes preinstalled on all Windows machines. But other options exist, including America Online's AOL Browser. The two are similar in many ways, but also have significant differences.
AOL Browser was a free software program distributed by AOL to subscribers to its dial-up and broadband Internet connection services. AOL Browser is a web browser -- using the program you can access any website on the Internet.
Internet Explorer is a web browser software program created and distributed by Microsoft Corp. It allows you to access Internet websites. It comes free of charge on every computer that has Windows installed and it can also be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
You can use either AOL Browser or Internet Explorer to explore the Internet, but many pages may not look right in AOL Browser because it has has not been updated since 2003. Websites that use modern features, such as cascading style sheets and dynamic HTML, may not work in AOL Browser. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, is continually being updated, and most websites will function properly when viewed with Internet Explorer.
AOL Browser was offered to AOL subscribers from 1995 to 2005, when it was replaced by AOL Explorer. In 2006, AOL introduced AOL Desktop, software which allows users to surf the Web, send and receive email, instant message and play media files. The latest version, as of 2010, is AOL Desktop 10.1.
Internet Explorer was introduced by Microsoft in 1995. Microsoft continues to upgrade Explorer, with the most recent version (Internet Explorer 8.0) coming out in 2009.
AOL, Inc. no longer distributes AOL Browser. Instead it offers AOL Desktop. AOL Desktop's browser is similar to Internet Explorer because it is based on the same underlying code. If you are an AOL subscriber, it may be a good choice because of its similarity to Internet Explorer and its integrated browser, email and instant messaging services. If you are not an AOL subscriber and already use Internet Explorer, however, you may not see much advantage in switching to AOL Desktop.
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