No Charge

Second Coming

Welcome to the new CompuServe??? from AOL.

Once the leading online service, CompuServe hit a wall a few years ago--it just couldn't keep pace with the energy and creativity of AOL. In fact, CompuServe nearly plunged into extinction until AOL bought what remained of the service in 1997. And now AOL has debuted CompuServe 2000, a far more user-friendly edition that combines the business-oriented content of the old CompuServe with an interface and tools that can only be described as AOL 4.0 in disguise. And that's to the good. CompuServe's interface used to be ugly and intimidating, but AOL 4.0 is about as slick as an online interface gets--so the service now has a first-rate look and high ease of use.

Should you give CompuServe 2000 a spin? Sure, if you're seeking business-oriented content that comes with hundreds of forums (message boards plus file libraries) designed to serve everybody from journalists to sales and marketing professionals. CompuServe 2000 also lets users set up five screen names on a single account and offers instant messaging. Another plus is that CompuServe 2000 runs on AOL's network of fast 56K modems and offers access numbers just about everywhere. At $9.95 for 20 hours monthly ($19.95 for unlimited use), CompuServe 2000 is worth investigating. Get the starter disk (including 100 free hours) at http://www.compuserve.com/trycsrv/cs2000/default.asp.

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: No Charge.

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