What Does CompuServe Mean?

CompuServe was the first major
commercial internet service in the U.S. It was known for the various
innovations that it introduced, including its chat system, forums for various
topics, software downloads for many operating systems and for its many online games. It charged hourly rates for usage, so
it was quite expensive. It was also mostly a text-based client, and there was
limited support for GUI clients.


CompuServe was also known as CompuServe Information Service (CIS).

Techopedia Explains CompuServe

CompuServe was founded in
1969 as a processing and time-sharing service, and was a major service
throughout the 1980s. In the early 1990s, CompuServe was at its peak. It
finally began to face stiff competition when AOL entered the field in
1991 and by 1995, it was overtaken by AOL.

The early CIS was
a simple dial-up system. However, it slowly developed over time due to the
introduction of newer protocols and newer technology in computing, such as faster
and lighter computers. It became multitiered and supported technologies such
as Frame Relay, asynchronous transfer mode and eventually, Internet Protocol
(IP). CIS began providing internet service in 1989, though it was quite
limited. It all started when it gave users the opportunity to use internet-based
email addresses in their email service. It became immensely popular during the
early 1990s, mainly due to its forum services which had millions of
users and members. These forums even included customer support forums where
companies resolved the problems of their customers, and promotions for movies,
such as the movie “Sneakers.” However, it fell from popularity after AOL was
introduced, as the latter had much better features at a much lower cost.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.