RealTime IT News

CompuServe Releases Software Update

Internet service provider CompuServe took its services into the future Monday with the official launch of CompuServe 2000.

The new version was patterned after AOL's software. The upgrade includes network and software augmentation designed to offer consumers the latest technology for a fast, easy connection to the Web. Improvements include customizable tool bars, more e-mail features and improved search functions.

The company is also rolling out new 56-kilobit-per-second access numbers nationwide.

A new pricing plan was also introduced Monday that offers customers Internet access for $9.95 for 20 hours of connect time with each additional hour billed at less than 5 cents a minute.

To promote CompuServe 2000, the company is rolling out a multi-million dollar advertising campaign on cable television, radio and in print. The company also forged a marketing alliance with Barnes & Noble that calls for CompuServe installation disks to be distributed at participating Barnes & Noble stores this spring. In return, CompuServe will offer its members a $25 gift certificate to the bookseller.

CompuServe President Mayo Stuntz Jr. said the 2000 program is designed to leverage the company into the forefront of the industry once again.

"We're on a roll at CompuServe, and CompuServe 2000 is the latest example of how we're raising the CompuServe brand to a higher level," Stuntz said.

"With CompuServe 2000, we're heading into 1999 with real momentum and a first-class product that meets the needs of our 2 million members and appeals to adults who are ready to take the Internet plunge for the first time."

February has been a busy month for CompuServe. The company partnered with MCI Worldcom to supply Internet access to MCI Worldcom users and also began offering financial information to its users by teaming with MarketWatch.com.