The Internet isn't easy to use. That's why most of its regular users are those already experienced with computers and networks. Access to the Internet requires some familiarity with computer names, port numbers, directory structures, and arcane commands. While a number of academic institutions and corporations, and a few Internet access providers, have developed “gophers” to make access easier by offering a series of menus, many of those who attempt the Internet don't have access to one of these aids. America Online, Inc., an online service with more than 350,000 customers, plans to improve its software interface to provide very user friendly access to Internet. The company already provides an E-mail gateway between America Online and Internet. Since being launched last year, the gateway has become an extremely popular service. The company has now launched an Internet Center, an information source for those seeking to access Internet as well as a service which will include several “gophers.”
The Internet Center software will feature graphical icons to provide simple navigation through the Internet. The service will be available within the regular monthly subscription price of $9.95 per month-a fee which includes up to five hours of access. America Online start-up kits are available from software retailers and some bookstores or by calling the company.
[Contact: America Online at (800) 827-6364.]