This is something that should have been asked when it happened over a decade ago... But, Ive always wondered how AOL didn't fold like the neutron star of bloated crap it was, when they decided to give away the IM "protocol" for free to anyone. Being able to use IMs without an AOL account, that was something new for the masses at the time. The fact you also didn't need an AOL account to create an AIM account, also bothered me. How does that make any sense in business? My only idea on how AOL could give away one of its greatest software assets, was because at the time many people only had AOL as a way of using the "internets" at the time. DSL, cable were lacking in speed and availability. But this also begs the question, how can they STILL be around with the ubiquitous nature of high-speed internet?