ICQ, a subsidiary of America Online (AOL), is offering a new version of its instant-messaging service that allows users to send messages from any Web browser, rather than just from a PC where an ICQ client has been installed. ICQ is also offering an updated version for Mac OS X.

ICQ Lite is available online. Users logging in to the ICQ site can send instant messages, access contact lists, and send SMS (short message service) text messages to mobile phones.

The new Mac version, ICQ 3.0X, is the first version of ICQ for Mac OS X. It also works on Mac OS 8.6 or higher. It includes new features such as contact lists that are stored on the ICQ server rather than on the user's machine.

ICQ, one of the earliest instant-messaging providers, was founded in 1996 and bought by AOL in 1998. It has over 115 million registered users worldwide, the company said.