The Demise of Compuserve (PCGH-Retro February 2)
The demise of Compuserve – that happened on February 2nd. Every day, PC Games Hardware takes a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.
…1998: Compuserve was one of the first telecommunications companies in PC history and pioneered online services such as email and online forums. Founded in 1969 as “Compu-Serv Network”, CompuServe was the first online service in the 1970s that enabled everyone to communicate by e-mail over the telephone network. In the 1980s, CompuServe became the world’s largest online service provider, primarily through services such as online forums, chat rooms and the exchange of images in the self-developed GIF format. In the 1990s, the number of participants grew into the millions. The easy-to-use Compuserve software was available for all major systems and also allowed non-professionals to access the web, forums and e-mail. But with cheap providers like AOL emerging in the course of the Internet boom, Compuserve found it increasingly difficult towards the end of the 1990s. The Compuserve network with its proprietary technology was hardly able to cope with the growing web and its open standards. On February 2, 1998, CompuServe began to slowly come to an end: AOL, which after meteoric growth is now the largest online service in the world, takes over the formerly larger competitor. One by one, the Compuserve services will soon be shut down or integrated into AOL’s offering. In Germany, the online service will be completely phased out in 2008. At that point, there was not much more left of the online pioneer than a pure access tariff anyway.
Further links on the topic:
• The End of Web Portals (PCGH Retro)
• The birth of the online forum (PCGH Retro)