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New Vaios coming home to

Sony and AOL are introducing a special version of the Web page that will be the default home page on Sony's Vaio PCs in 2006.

Sony also plans to ship other AOL software with new Vaios, including the AOL Instant Messenger client, the AOL Toolbar, and the AOL Explorer browser. The first units to ship with the AOL makeover will come out next month, the companies said.

The Sony-AOL site isn't all that different from the regular AOL home page, except for the right side of the Sony-AOL page, which features a series of links to Sony technical support and accessories.

Once dismissed as a training ground for Internet novices, AOL has reinvented itself as a free content provider and signed deals with companies such as Sony, Intel and Google to get its content in front of their users. At the same time, the company is still trying to shore up its dwindling subscriber basewith premium services and broadband access plans.