Tuesday, October 18, 2005


AOL is suddenly the most popular girl on the dance floor.

After being a wallflower for years (Times Warner took them over in 2002), America Online has blossomed into the trophy date everyone wants to take to the dance.

"It's been no secret that Time Warner has wanted to dump this thing [AOL] since they took control," Rob Enderle, an analyst, was quoted as saying in Friday's CNET News.

Recent moves by AOL have changed that dynamic. As subscribers to its very expensive dial-up service deserted AOL for faster broadband connections, AOL realized it needed to change its strategy. In a creative move, AOL began making its programming available for free, counting on advertising revenue on the free pages to make up for the lost subscriber income.

Now, Yahoo has jumped onto the dance floor. On Friday, TheStreet.com reported that Yahoo "has joined the whirlwind Internet industry courtship of AOL."

The question is: Will Microsoft--clearly the 900 lb. gorilla in a tuxedo--flex its muscles and drive away all the other suitors: Google, Comcast and now Yahoo?

Stay tuned.

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