is gearing up to relaunch its
service on the Web as early as September, but the company will
not completely abandon its proprietary roots and will continue to offer a "classic" version of its online service, CNET has learned.
Although Prodigy is still in the process of finalizing names for its services, the company is considering calling the Internet version either Prodigy Internet or Prodigy World, according to internal information obtained by CNET. The company is expected to brand the proprietary version
of the service "Prodigy Classic."
The company has already
registered the Prodigyworld.com and Prodigyworld.net domain names, but
not Prodigyinternet.com, according to records from InterNIC, the
association that registers all Internet domain names.
Like two of its competitors--CompuServe and Microsoft Network--Prodigy has been
scrambling to recast itself as an Internet online service by re-creating its
content and features using Internet standards such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). Both CompuServe
and MSN are currently testing Microsoft server software, code-named
Normandy, that will allow them to make the leap to the Net, perhaps as early
as October, Microsoft officials said.
Prodigy has said publicly that its Internet service will launch in the fall,
although a spokeswoman declined to be more specific. Already, though, Prodigy
has launched several Web sites, including Chat Soup and Stim.
The company will give users access to its Net service through a suite of
client software, code-named Wildfire, that includes a Web browser, email,
chat, and other applications, each of which can be mixed and matched
with software from other vendors.
For the original version of its service, the company will
distribute its Net software partly through PC hardware vendors such as Packard Bell as it has done with its
proprietary client software in the past.
Microsoft readies Normandy invasion
CompuServe makes the Web new
Prodigy building empire on
Prodigy gets new owners
MS ponders fees for MSN Web
coverage: CNET Radio