31 Facts About CompuServe


CompuServe was founded in 1969 as Compu-Serv Network, Inc in Columbus, Ohio, as a subsidiary of Golden United Life Insurance.

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Over time, the CompuServe network evolved into a complicated multi-tiered network incorporating asynchronous transfer mode, frame relay, Internet Protocol and X 25 technologies.

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CompuServe is offering a video-text-like service permitting personal computer users to retrieve software from the mainframe computer over telephone lines.

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CompuServe developed extensive screening and reporting tools that were used by many investment banks on Wall Street.

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CompuServe's origin was approximately concurrent with that of The Source.

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In July 1980, working with Associated Press, CompuServe began hosting text versions of the Columbus Dispatch.

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At the peak of this line of business, CompuServe carried millions of authorization transactions each month, representing several billion dollars of consumer purchase transactions.

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CompuServe began offering electronic mail capabilities and technical support to commercial customers in 1978 under the name Infoplex, and was a pioneer in the real-time chat market with its CB Simulator service introduced on February 21,1980, as the first public, commercial multi-user chat program.

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Around 1981, CompuServe introduced its CompuServe B protocol, a file-transfer protocol, allowing users to send files to each other.

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CompuServe began to expand its reach outside the United States.

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Between 1994 and 1995 Fujitsu and CompuServe co-developed WorldsAway, an interactive virtual world.

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CompuServe was the first online service to offer Internet connectivity, albeit with limited access, as early as 1989, when it connected its proprietary e-mail service to allow incoming and outgoing messages to be exchanged with Internet-based e-mail addresses.

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In 1992, CompuServe hosted the first known WYSIWYG e-mail content and forum posts.

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CompuServe later introduced CompuServe Information Manager to compete more directly with AOL.

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In 1992, CompuServe acquired Mark Cuban's company, MicroSolutions, for $6 million.

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In 1997, CompuServe began converting its forums from its proprietary Host-Micro Interface to HTML web standards.

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In 2004 CompuServe discontinued HMI and converted the forums to web access only.

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CompuServe UK commissioned writer Sue Schofield to produce a 'retail' pack including a new UK CompuServe Book and a free CD-ROM containing the CIS software to access the service.

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CompuServe has a long history offering a custom portal of the CompuServe Information Service to the airline industry.

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CompuServe had 3 million worldwide users at its peak, compared to AOL's 27 million.

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CompuServe introduced a simple black-and-white image format known as RLE to standardize the images so they could be shared among different microcomputer platforms.

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In 1991, CompuServe was sued for defamation in one of the early cases testing the application of traditional law on the Internet in Cubby v CompuServe.

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CompuServe "was first convicted, in November 1997" and after another hearing sentenced to two years' probation on May 28,1998.

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Battle for customers between AOL and CompuServe became one of handing customers back and forth, using free hours and other enticements.

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In Germany, CompuServe 2000 was introduced in 1999 and withdrawn in 2001 because of failure on the German market, but CompuServe Classic service remained for a while.

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In January 2007, CompuServe e-mailed members that Windows Vista was not supported, and suggested switching to the AOL-branded service.

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In July 2008, CompuServe Germany informed its customers that it would close down its operations on July 31,2008.

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CompuServe announced on April 15,2009 that CompuServe Classic would "no longer operate as an Internet Service Provider" and would close on June 30,2009.

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CompuServe announced in November 2017 that the CompuServe Forums would be shut down on December 15,2017.

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In May 2005, CompuServe discontinued access the OzCis and TapCIS forums on CompuServe.

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Visual CompuServe, known as VisCIS, was a demo concept of a VRML-based client by programmer John D Gwinner which modelled the CompuServe interface into a 3D virtual environment.

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