The original CompuServe service, first offered in 1979, was shut down this past week by its current owner, AOL. The service, which provided its users with addresses such as 73402,3633 and was the first major online service, had seen the number of users dwindle in recent years. At its height, the service boasted about having over half a million users simultaneously on line. Many innovations we now take for granted, from online travel (Eaasy Sabre), online shopping, online stock quotations, and global weather forecasts, just to name a few, were standard fare on CompuServe in the 1980s.
CompuServe users will be able to use their existing CompuServe Classic (as the service was renamed) addresses at no charge via a new e-mail system, but the software that the service was built on, along with all the features supported by that software, from forums for virtually every topic and profession known to man to members’ Ourworld Web pages, has been shut down. Indeed, the current version of the service’s client software, CompuServe for Windows NT 4.0.2, dates back to 1999.
CompuServe members can convert their existing addresses to the new e-mail system at the CompuServe Mail Center.