All about America Online

America Online was first introduced in 1985. The company was called Quantum Computer Services and the service was called Q-Link. It was designed to be a network for Commodore business machines. In 1991 it was repackaged and became America Online. By January 1993 it gained widespread attention by releasing its first software for Windows. It quickly grew to 500,000 members by the end of the year. It reached 1 million by August 1994. Today AOL has 10 million members. The World Wide Web and Internets popularity was growing. ISPs dropped their prices to $20 a month. So AOL decided to drop their prices to $19.95 a month in December of 1996. This attracted lots of members but strained AOL's computers which meant busy signals and slow access for legions of irate customers. This did not do much for AOLS image. Today their are a lot of people who hate AOL. But AOL has alleviated much of the problem. AOL is designed for anyone who wants to explore the online world but is unsure about jumping onto the Internet without a little help. Today, AOL, which is based in Dulles,Va., has operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and most recently, Japan.

PARENTAL CONTROL OPTIONS

Can create own screen name for children; Custom Control feature lets parents restrict access to areas of AOL and the Web

KIDS' SERVICES

Kids only channel, which features games,educational material, and chat rooms.

STRENGTHS

Unrivaled content, easy to use, inexpensive for the amount of content provided.

WEAKNESSES
Slow E-mail delivery, connection problems in some areas, many online forums are uninteresting. Return to the main menu