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CompuServe is an internet service provider and online portal based in Columbus, Ohio.


The CompuServe Information Service (CIS) was founded in 1969 as a computer time-sharing service. Along with AOL and Prodigy, CIS was one of the first pre-Internet, online services for consumers, providing bulletin boards, online conferencing, business news, sports and weather, financial transactions, electronic mail, Usenet news, travel and entertainment data and online editions of computer publications.[1]

In 1979, CompuServe was the first service to offer electronic mail and technical support to personal computer users. In 1980, they were the first to offer real-time chat with its CB Simulator. By 1982, the company had formed its Network Services Division to provide wide-area networking to corporate clients.[1] Initially focused on the U.S. market, a Japanese version called Niftyserve was launched in 1986. In 1989, the company expanded into Europe and became a leading Internet service provider.[1]


CIS, CompuServe Network Services, and CompuServe Remote Computing were operated by CompuServe Corporation. In 1980, the company was acquired by H&R Block, which then sold it to America Online (AOL) in February 1998.[2][3] Electronic mail services now are handled by AOL.[4] The company presently operates as a subsidiary of Yahoo!.[5]


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