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AOL exec: Paper bills will disappear

America Online subscribers may soon hear a less-friendly, though potentially practical, greeting when they log on: "You've got bills."

    LAS VEGAS--America Online subscribers may soon hear a less-friendly greeting when they log on: "You've got bills."

    On Monday, AOL Interactive Service Group president Barry Schuler noted that most of the snail mail people get today is junk or bills. Schuler promised AOL will relieve mail carriers of the latter burden.

    "Soon (paper) bills are going away," Schuler said in a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show here.

    Last month, AOL launched Intuit's Quicken bill payment service for its subscribers. For $5.95 per month, AOL members can pay up to 20 bills per month online.

    Schuler used much of his speech to defend the beleaguered Internet and PC sectors, contending that dot-coms are not dot-bombs and the PC is not dead.

    "I guarantee you that PCs are going to be a very important part of work and home life" for the future, Schuler said. However, he added, other devices will undergo transformations. The television, phone and stereo will all become computers on the inside, connected to the Internet, he said.

    "This convergence is going to make it seem like the last 10 years were just a warm-up," Schuler said.

    On Monday, Read more breaking CES
news here AOL also launched an email alert feature that allows subscribers to receive a message on their pager or cell phone when they have new email.

    The online service giant also announced a more personalized version of its AOL by Phone service. AOL said it has signed up more than 200,000 subscribers for AOL by Phone since launching the service in October.