An Early Look at AIM Triton

Album Cover: White Blood Cells

"Every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me."
White Stripes / Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

Posted on May 04, 2005 11:15 AM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely despise AOL. If there are any concessions to be made, though, I must say that I have been a loyal fan of AOL Instant Messenger for a long time now. I don't use it as much anymore, mostly because I don't have many friends, but that is a different topic for a different day ;)

When I heard that AOL is currently beta testing a completely overhauled version of AIM codenamed "Triton" I had to take a peek.

After looking at it for less than 10 minutes, I have to say that I am impressed. It was a bit funny to see the current Firefox throbber being used in their installer, but maybe they think they have the rights since they have ties to Mozilla? I don't know the answer to that one. Funny nonetheless.

It was also interesting to see how similar their installer is to the one that comes with Winamp, but that one makes a bit more sense since AOL actually owns Winamp.

After the painless install, I was immediately impressed by the new user interface. It's really sleek (which it almost has to be given the current state of its competitors, namely MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger) and actually makes me feel like I'm running a Fedora Core (or maybe I should say Gnome) application on Windows XP.

I'm hoping AOL plans to go the way of the 'fox and make Triton skinnable at some point, because that would put it over the top as far as UI goes. Some of the fading things they are doing, and the way they've simplified the dialog boxes and options make this new version seem light years ahead of their current stable release.

If you haven't had a chance to give Triton a try yet, I recommend at least giving it a look. It's in extreme beta form right now, but the good news is the install/uninstall process works as it should, so you shouldn't have to worry about hosing your system by giving it a quick peek. Triton is available for download over at the AIM Triton beta site.


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