AOL Evolves: Expansion,Integration, and Success

We could be bigger than AT&T.

—Steve Case to a reporter, 1995

It is interesting to consider how the early development of Quantum Computer/AOL echoed that of the first online database providers. As with Dialog, SDC, and others, Quantum was paid by a client to develop and manage a product. In each instance, much of the product development work was already done. The content (massive quantities of textual data) that database providers put online was compiled for them by their clients. Quantum was given the software and some of the content that would be the basis for Q-Link and, later, AppleLink.

Database providers expanded their content through partnerships with other data providers, and ...

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