Compu$erve joins the web
Thu, 16 Mar 1995 16:35:23 +1100
From: NAME: Steven Byrne
FUNC: Housing & Social Policy Group
TEL: 289 2382 <BYRNE STEVEN@A1@CBR>
Tony Barry said:
>Subject: Compu$erve joins the web
>How the mighty have fallen. Not only has Prodigy dropped its own software
>now this. Paying $100 million for web software is very serious business.
Indeed it is. This is a very important step for Compuserve. But Compuserve is
not just buying Spry just in order to Web-enable CIS: Compuserve's Web plans
were well underway before they bought Spry, and were evolving as a logical
extension to offering FTP and newsgroup access through their service, which
they began to do months ago.
CIS have also already built up a big WWW consulting business, and they also
reportedly already had plans to move into the business of providing dial-up
SLIP/PPP access to the Internet.
So the CIS move is probably not a story that shows 'how the mighty have
fallen' but is yet another chapter in the continuing story called 'the
commercialisation of the Internet', or alternatively, 'the inevitable fusion
of the Internet with commercial on-line services'.
The CIS move on Spry is based on the highly strategic value of Spry as:
(a) the company that holds the main license to commercialise Mosaic from
(b) the company that has on-licensed Mosaic technology to Microsoft for
incorporation into the Microsoft Network;
(c) the company that has licensed Air Mosaic to be the front end to a large
number of significant Internet Service Providers businesses, including an
increasing number of US telcos - who are moving aggressively into the ISP
business over there.
The CIS move also has to be seen in the context of similar moves by its
[commercial] on-line rivals in the US in response to the huge growth in the
Internet connectivity business, and the emerging popularity of Netcom,
PSI/Pipeline and MCI Internet et al as Internet connectivity providers. For
example AOL has been buying up a stake in all sorts of Internet related
businesses recently, and Prodigy has gone WWW in a huge way, as you mention.
Couple this with the recent moves by Microsoft to buy a stake in UUNet (the
oldest ISP in the US) and use them to help build MSN into both the worlds
largest commercial on-line service and the world's largest dial-up PPP/SLIP
Internet provider, and you see why CIS has to start getting serious about
extending its business model to cover the Internet.
Steven Byrne. Housing & Regional Development, Canberra
Internet (w): Steven.Byrne@a1.cbr.hhcs.gov.au
Internet (h): firstname.lastname@example.org
Compuserve: 100033,1506 MSN: StevenB