AOL has today launched a new version of its AOL Instant Messenger program, containing enhancements that are no doubt intended to compete with Skype's feature set. "Triton" enables users to send instant messages, send SMS texts, engage in audio and video chats, manage Plaxo-based address-books, listen to AOL's radio portfolio and purchase VoIP phone calls.

AOL calls the new AIM service a 'front door' to digital communications, and in fact there's hardly any other instant messenger brings a similar amount of features - which makes Triton also one of the most bloated Instant Messenger currently available. "We anticipate that the AIM Triton service will accelerate the growing use of voice, video and desktop-to-mobile messaging across all users," said Chamath Palihapitiya, AOL's vice president and general manager for AIM and ICQ. "With the inclusion of AIM Mail, we expect AIM to remain the most viral, social and popular communications application among the Internet generation."