Encyclopedia > America Online

  Article Content


Redirected from America Online

AOL is an acronym standing for the name "America Online" as well as the NYSE stock symbol for AOL Time Warner Inc., a United States media giant.

The stock symbol AOL derives from AOL Time Warner's ISP business called "America Online"; the term "AOL" also refers to this service.

The AOL service was started in 1985 as a sort of mega-BBS for Commodore 64 and 128 computers. The original name of this online service was Quantum Link ("Q-Link" for short), which was operated by Quantum Computer Services[?]. In October 1989, Quantum launched its AOL service for Apple II and Macintosh computers, and in February 1991 AOL for MS-DOS was opened. In October 1991, Quantum changed its name to America Online. These changes began a trend of tremendous growth in the existence of pay-based BBS services, like Prodigy[?] and CompuServe, with whom AOL was competing. In the early 1990s, it was among the first service providers to give customers from outside academia and the military access to the Internet. As such, they were primarily associated with the influx of new users, unversed in netiquette, who came online. Their marketing disks were mailed to over 100 million households.

From 1993 onwards, and in some quarters such as Usenet, their name is synonymous with impolite and ignorant new users. They have found this reputation difficult to shake.

In the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, AOL began purchasing and supporting many popular software projects and companies. Some of these companies and projects include Nullsoft's Winamp, purchased in 1999 for $86 million, Mozilla, and ICQ. Some of these projects are open source.

See AOL Time Warner for more information about the media conglomerate.

Notable Persons Associated With AOL

External links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
French resistance

... and executed collaborators. Most of the Paris police force joined them. Roosevelt sent troops to help first Allied troops arrived in August 24. Last Germans surrendered ...

This page was created in 36.3 ms