In return, Prodigy's new service will be available through the online services folder on Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. Prodigy also will feature Internet Explorer 3.0 for users of Windows 3.1 and Apple Computer's Macintosh when versions of the browser are available by year's end.
The deal marks another big win for Microsoft in its battle to take away market share from industry leader Netscape Communications. CNET reported earlier that a similar deal with Sprint also is in the works. Last week, AT&T and the U.S. Navy signed on with IE.
Netscape, however, remains the dominant player.
"Inclusion of our software with the Windows 95 operating system represents an important strategic step in establishing our new flagship product," said Prodigy chief executive Paul DeLacey in a statement.
Added Brad Chase, vice president of developer relations for Microsoft: "Today's announcement establishes Internet Explorer as the featured browser of every major online service."