The History of the Internet
In the year 1969 the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) assigned the US Ministry of Defence to create a computer net, which should firstly ensure the communication in case of a nuclear attack and secondly enable the collaboration between several research institutes.
The ARPANET was created that way and was soon the link between several American universities.
How we experience the Internet nowadays cannot be compared with the net from the past of course. The two most important Internet services are eMail, the transmission of written messages between two places via the digital way, and the World Wide Web, the part of the net we call the Internet.
In the 80s the PC established its position in the private sector more and more and the interest on the ARPANET rose. The Internet Society initiated the WWW in 1992, and new branches of business arose, especially the providers.
The biggest providers nowadays are AOL (America Online) with 24 million users, CompuServe with 2.8 million users and MSN (Microsoft Network) with 1.6 million users worldwide.
Major Internet companies
AltaVista, Amazon, America Online, Cisco Systems, CNET, eBay, ICQ, Inktomi, Terra Lycos, Netscape, VeriSign, Yahoo!
On July 12, 1999 nine major Internet companies formed a lobbying group to "speak with a clear, distinct voice for the concerns and interests of the industry." The members of the organization, called NetCoaltion.com, are Amazon.com Inc., America Online Inc., DoubleClick, eBay Inc., Excite@Home Corp., Inktomi Inc., Lycos Inc., theglobe.com and Yahoo Inc. Ninety percent of the world\'s Internet users visit at least one of these sites each month. NetCoaltion wants to build user confidence in the Internet through responsible market-driven policies, wants to preserve the open and competitive environment that has allowed the Internet to flourish and wants to ensure the continued vitality of the Internet through active dialogue with policymakers.
Considering that some of this organization's members are the most powerful on the Internet, these aims sound beyond belief.
AOL - America Online Inc.
America Online is now the biggest, richest and most successful Internet company in the world. That is because it is one of the few Internet companies that has actually figured out how to make money on the web - by charging individuals monthly subscriptions to sign up to their Internet services, and by charging companies to advertise their services. More than 24 million subscribers pay a monthly fee of about $20 to access the Internet, there are an additional 2.8 million people subscribing to its CompuServe subsidiary, and 4.4 million international members.
AOL started with the foundation of Quantum Computer Services in 1985. By 1994, after changing its name, AOL had a million subscribers already. In the early years it was almost brought down by the problems of introducing unlimited access for a fixed monthly fee. As usage increased, so did capacity problems, making thousands of customers angry as they could not get their connection to work. The problem was solved by a deal with MCIWorldCom and a merger with rival CompuServe in 1998. AOL further strengthened its position in 1998 when it acquired Netscape, the Internet browser company, for $4 billion. The company also had to fend off rivals, most notably AT&T, the biggest US telephone company, which tried to take over AOL in order to launch its own Internet services. In 1999 AOL reached 20 million subscribers and in 2000 merged with Time Warner, which was one of the biggest deals ever. Both companies hope that AOL\'s huge user base will provide fertile ground for online marketing and e-commerce, i.e. selling Time Warner products like books and CDs.
Time Warner describes itself as one of the world\'s leading media companies. It owns the cable television channels CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and Home Box Office and is a publisher of magazines, books and web sites. In 1999, AOL "shocked" the online world when it bought the Internet pioneer Netscape. Other brands owned by the company are Internet messaging service ICQ and Digital City. AOL has a strategic alliance with computer and software firm Sun Microsystems, too, targeted to undermine the dominance of Microsoft in the computer business.
Facts: Headquarters in Virginia, 15 000 employees, 2000: revenue $ 6.89 billion, 24 million AOL members, 2.8 million CompuServe members, 4.4m international members
Revenues from eCommerce now make up one third of AOL\'s revenue. It has commercial deals to market everything from General Motors cars to financial services to computers with Compaq and Gateway. It is also planning to be part of the Internet\'s mobile revolution, ensuring that it will be on Motorola mobile phones and Palm Pilot handheld computers. One of the biggest fears of AOL has been that it will be excluded from the broadband revolution, which allows Internet services to be delivered at much higher speeds than currently available from dial-up modems. They allow the delivery of video-on-demand, interactive conferences and gaming, and swift downloads at a cost little more than that of AOL\'s subscription charge. Now that AOL has tied up with one of the main providers of high-speed cable Internet access, Time Warner\'s Road Runner service, it remains to be seen how much it will continue to fight for the principle of open access. AOL meanwhile has also invested heavily in other ways of delivering broadband services, both through conventional telephone lines and satellite television in the US. Recently AOL has tried to expand its overseas activities, in the expectation that in the next few years the Internet will grow faster in Asia, Europe, and Latin America than the US. But it has not been as successful abroad as in its home market in the United States, where it has a dominant position. That is partly because of the different system of telephone charges, which means that it is more difficult to offer unlimited access for a flat fee - which works in the US because there are no additional telephone charges to pay, as local calls are free.
AOL Brands and Services
All Chats (various chatrooms and discussions), Hometown (free homepages), Instant Messenger (free communication software AIM 4.3), Legal Department (online service about court decisions)
CompuServe (ISP), ICQ, Netscape, Digital Cities Guides (information on popular cities), MapQuest (detailed interactive maps of major cities), Moviefone (previews and reviews of the latest releases including chats and online ticketing function), Spinner.com (internet radio with various channels), WinAmp MPEG audio player
November 22, 2000: AOL Latin America announced the availability of a regional Web portal, which provides access to visitors from 20 latin American countries.
November 30, 2000: AOL unveiled the new AOL Mobile Communicator (SM), a two-way wireless handheld device. That way AOL members can take e-mail and instant messaging "anywhere". It is a small, lightweight (4.1 ounces) device, only available to AOL's members, who wants to make the interactive medium central to their everyday lives. It has a built-in mini-keyboard, which makes it quick and easy to type messages or write eMails. AOL said: \"That\'s what we deliver with the AOL Mobile Communicator: We\'re no longer talking about an strategy - we\'re making AOL Anywhere a reality.\"
Steve Case: Chairman of AOL Time Warner, former AOL CEO and co-founder
Yahoo! Began - like many other parts of the computer age - as an idea, grew into a hobby and turned into full-time business. The two developers were David Filo and Jerry Yang. They started a kind of guide in April 1994 as a way to keep track of their personal interests on the Internet. Soon their lists became too long and unwieldy, so they turned it into a database designed to serve the needs of thousands of users. The name Yahoo! is supposed to stand for \"Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle\" but Filo and Yang insist they selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos. Yahoo! itself first resided on Yang\'s student workstation, \"akebono\" while the search engine was lodged on Filo\'s computer, \"konishiki.\" (These machines were named after legendary Hawaiian sumo wrestlers.) They developed customised software to help them efficiently locate, identify and edit material stored on the Internet. In early 1995 Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape Communications, invited Filo and Yang to move their files over to larger computers housed at Netscape. Today, Yahoo! contains organised information on tens of thousands of computers linked to the Web.
Yahoo! Inc. is a global Internet communications, commerce and media company that offers a branded network of services to more than 166 million individuals each month worldwide. As the first online navigational guide to the Web, www.yahoo.com is the leading guide in terms of traffic, advertising, household and business user reach, and is one of the most recognised brands associated with the Internet. The company also provides online business services designed to enhance the Web presence of Yahoo!\'s clients, including audio and video streaming, store hosting and management, and Web site tools and services. The company\'s global Web network includes 25 World properties. Yahoo! has offices in Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Canada and the United States, and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
Services: Chat, Mail, Auctions, Shopping, Movies, Sports, Finance, Messenger, Photos, Travel, Pay Direct, Entertainment
March 21, 2000: Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger delivers Web services to Palm Handheld Computers
June 29, 2000: Yahoo! Launched the Yahoo! Player, a streaming media player for playing music and video
October 10, 2000: Yahoo! introduced Free Voice Access to content and services, Voice Mail and PC-to-Phone Calling Consumers
November 22, 2000: Yahoo! Shopping goes mobile, it is available on Web-enabled phones
Jerry Yang: Chief Yahoo and co-founder
Lycos Inc. -> Terra Lycos Inc.
The Lycos Network is currently one of the most visited hubs on the Internet reaching one out of every two Web users. Its network of sites includes Lycos.com, Tripod, Angelfire, WhoWhere, Lycos Communications, HotBot, HotWired, Wired News, Webmonkey, Quote.com, Sonique, Gamesville, and Matchmaker.com.
The Lycos Network provides leading Web search and navigation, communications and personalization tools, homepage building and Web community services and a shopping center. Integrated, these sites help each individual user locate, retrieve and manage information about his or her personal interests. Lycos believes that communities are at the core of the hub. An Internet community personalises the Web, allowing people with common interests to seamlessly find, communicate and collaborate with each other, acting as participants, rather than observers. An online community personalises the Web, enabling members to have individual relationships in a global medium. Through its acquisitions of Tripod Inc., and WhoWhere Inc., in 1998, the Lycos Network has become the largest and fastest growing online community with more than 5 million registered Tripod and Angelfire members. 201 million average daily page views worldwide. More than 61 million registered users worldwide.
Founded in June 1995, Lycos was one of the earliest search and navigation sites designed to help people find information more easily and quickly on the World Wide Web. In May 1997, Lycos began its international career through a joint venture with European media house Bertelsmann. In February 1998, Lycos acquired Tripod Inc., the leading community site on the Web. With the acquisition of Tripod, Lycos became the most full-featured community-oriented home base on the Internet, providing free homepages to all users. In April 1998, Lycos extended its international dominance through a partnership with Sumitomo Corporation in Japan to bring localised Lycos services to Japan. The acquisition of WiseWire in April 1998 and integration of its technology also established Lycos as the only online service in its category to provide its users with both a World Wide Web search engine and directory. In August 1998, Lycos took another significant step in its move to become the leading online service by acquiring GuestWorld, the Web's largest provider of free online guestbook services. In August 1998, Lycos again improved its audience reach and strengthened its position as a premier Web destination by acquiring WhoWhere Inc.and its complete line of Web-based applications, including its leading directory services, popular MailCity e-mail service and Angelfire.com, a leading Web community. In October 1998, Lycos signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wired Digital Inc., including HotBot, a leading Web site renowned for search excellence. In February 1999, Lycos announced the audience reach of the Lycos Network had risen to 48.8 percent, according to the Media Metrix report of January traffic figures. With 27.1 percent up in ten months the Lycos Network is the fastest-growing Web portal. In March 1999, Lycos formed a joint venture with Mirae Corporation to bring localised versions of Lycos.com, Tripod and MailCity to Korea. In April 1999, Lycos announced the Lycos Network had surpassed the Yahoo sites to become the most visited hub on the Web. In August 1999 Lycos acquired Internet Music Distribution Inc., maker of Sonique. Sonique is a popular audio players, supporting many audio formats including mp3. In September 1999 Lycos acquired Quote.com Inc., one of the Web's most comprehensive financial information destinations. In October 1999, Lycos announced its entrance into the Latin American market with the launch of 14 Lycos.com and Tripod.com country-specific localised sites for Latin America, and two sites for the Spanish-speaking population in the United States. In November 1999 Lycos signed a definitive agreement to acquire Gamesville.com, a leading interactive entertainment company and direct marketer. Gamesville reaches 4.5 percent of the monthly Web audience.
September 27, 2000: Lycos launched a WAP directory for mobile users
October 10, 2000: Together with BMG Entertainment Lycos Music makes albums and singles digitally available. The two companies want to work closely together to create and promote digital music content on the Internet.
December 6, 2000: Terra Lycos and Headhunter.net, a recruiting site, signed a multi-million dollar agreement for a new co-branded site.
October 31, 2000: Terra Networks, S.A. and Lycos, Inc. announced the companies have completed their combination announced in May. The new shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq National Market and the Spanish stock exchanges on Tuesday, October 31, 2000.
About Terra Lycos
Terra Lycos is a new global Internet network operating in 40 countries in 19 languages, reaching 91 million unique monthly visitors worldwide. Created by the combination of Terra Networks S.A. and Lycos Inc., Terra Lycos is one of the most popular Internet networks in the U.S., Europe and Asia, is the leading portal to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets, and is the number three access provider in the world. The Terra Lycos network of sites includes Lycos.com, Terra.com, Angelfire.com, ATuHora.com, Gamesville.com, HotBot.com, htmlGEAR.com, Invertia.com, LycosZone.com, Matchmaker.com, Quote.com, Rumbo.com, Sonique.com, Tripod.com, Webmonkey.com, WhoWhere.com and Wired.com. The company's corporate headquarters are in Barcelona, Spain and its operating headquarters are in Waltham, Mass.
Juan Villalonga: Chairman of Terra Lycos, former chairman of Terra Networks and Telefonica
Robert J. Davis: CEO Terra Lycos, former president and CEO of Lycos, Inc.
Times of Web anarchy are definitely over, and it is not that easy anymore to start up a company on the Internet.
And the "war" between the Giants of the Internet is going on: Providing paid access to the Internet will get unimportant, because Internet for free will rise in the next years like in the US.
The aim will be to have as many users as possible, who are on the company's own sites as often and as long as possible - because then advertising customers will pay higher prices.
And the best formula for catching users is Content & Commerce: providing interesting content and good online shopping possibilities.