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A continental CompuServe

The second-largest online service is expanding its European business and introducing a new corporate logo.

CompuServe (CSRV) said today that it is expanding its European business and introducing a new corporate logo.

The plans include a major network upgrade; enhanced European IP capabilities; expanded Internet and intranet authorings, including authentication; NT Link, the new remote access package based on Microsoft NT; and a new Internet-compatible 4.0 version of Domino server for Lotus Notes.

The announcements follow poor earnings reports, staff layoffs, and rumors about the future of the second-largest online service. They are in keeping with CompuServe's mission to reinvent itself as a more consumer-oriented, user-friendly online service.

CompuServe's focus on Europe comes as no surprise to David Simons, managing director of Digital Video Investments, a money management research firm. "CompuServe has been enjoying better success of late overseas in Europe and Japan than they have in the United States," he said.

As for CompuServe's new logo, it consists of a circle with a shaded crescent, slicing through slightly left of center.

"The circle connotes the connectivity and security of the network, while the crescent introduces the CompuServe 'C,'" the company said. "The identifier appears as an object in the sky to communicate the global services offered by CompuServe Network Services."

This spring, the online service also expects to release CompuServe 3.0, a graphical interface that is more user-friendly.

The company's stock closed Wednesday at 14-3/4, down 1/8 of a point.