The new AOL software will be automatically installed on computers using the latest version, 8.0. A button on the bottom of every window in AOL’s Web browser will let users turn the pop-up blocking feature on or off. Every time a site tries to open a pop-up or pop-under window, the software will produce a sound. If the user is curious, a click will make the ad appear.
AOL’s new, reformed persona sounds great on paper, but you still end up with pop-up ads. Last year they announced they were doing away with ads in the AOL service; they did get rid of ads from other companies, but now every time you start AOL you get pop-ups advertising AOL services. Nothing’s different, really. And I can imagine this new “feature” working much in the same way, and not blocking pop-ups within the AOL-Time Warner network of sites. I mean, if they’re so gung-ho about stopping pop-ups, then why did they remove the pop-up blocking option from Netscape 7? This just sounds like another publicity stunt to try to win public favor.