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You may go to our pages for our FREE Services. However, we feel the following background might interest you!!
History of on-line Services:
The first commercial on-line free service was available in 1979. The first two major on-line services were: CompuServe (owned in the 1980s and 90s by H&R Block) and The Source (for some time owned by The Reader’s Digest). They were created to serve the market of personal computer users. These services using text-based interfaces and menus, enabled everybody with a modem and a communication software to use their services. These free services include things such as email, chat, news, financial and stock market information, bulletin boards, forums and general information. In this on-line free service, users were only able to exchange email with others on the same service.
Later on, other text-based services came to existence. For instance, Delphi online service, GEnie and MCI Mail. In the 1980s there was a rise in a new idea called independent Computer Bulletin Boards, or BBSes (online services are not BBSes. An on-line service may contain an electronic bulletin board, but the term “BBS” is reserved for independent dial-up, microcomputer-based services that are usually single-user systems.)
As the new age computers which supported color and graphics were developed (Atari 800, Commodore 64, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, the Apple II and early IBM PC compatibles), on-line services also developed framed or partially graphical information displays. Early services such as CompuServe added graphics-based front end software to present their information. They also continued to offer text-based access for people who needed it. In 1985 Viewtron, which began as a Videotex service requiring a dedicated terminal, introduced software allowing home computer owners access. Beginning in the mid-1980s graphics based on-line services such as PlayNET, Prodigy, MSN, and Quantum Link were developed.
These online services were the beginning of the web browser that would totally change global online life a decade later.
Before Quantum Link, Apple company developed a new service called AppleLink, which was basically a support network only for Apple dealers and developers. Later on, Apple offered the short-lived eWorld, for use by Mac consumers and based on the Mac version of the America Online software.
In early 1992, the Internet the way we know it, which had been available only to governments, academics, and corporate research settings, was available commercial users. DELPHI was the first online service to offer Internet access. They had developed TCP/IP access earlier as well as connection with an environmental group that rated Internet access.
The explosion of popularity of the World Wide Web in 1994 accelerated the development of the Internet as an information and communication resource for consumers and businesses. The sudden availability of low- to no-cost email and appearance of free independent web sites broke the business model that had supported the rise of the early online service industry.