America Online Inc. is expected to release AIM Mail later on Wednesday as part of an updated beta of AIM 5.9, the next version of the IM client. The e-mail service follows AOL's test last year of a revamped Webmail service targeted to subscribers.
AIM Mail will be based on AIM screen names and the aim.com domain. AOL's existing base of 21 million active AIM users can use their current screen names as e-mail addresses and access the mail service once they download AIM 5.9. New users also can start e-mail accounts when they install AIM 5.9.