Compuserve’s Wow! To be Sold At Retail Stores

Compuserve’s Wow! To be Sold At Retail Stores

COLUMBUS, OHIO, U.S.A., 1996 MAR 6 (NB) — Under an agreement between Wow! from Compuserve and Tandy Corp., the retailer’s 110 Incredible Universe and Computer City outlets will serve as the exclusive retail launch channel for Compuserve’s new consumer online service. In a related matter, a Wow! official told Newsbytes no plans currently exist to port the new service to older versions of Windows, including Windows 3.1.

In the Tandy deal, customers who buy a copy of Microsoft’s Windows 95 operating system or a multimedia computer will receive a free Wow! CD-ROM. Also, people who sign up with Wow! before June 30 will become “charter members” of the service. The details on the charter membership program, along with pricing and availability details, will be made public at a product preview event on March 13 in New York City, officials said.

Wow! from Compuserve spokesperson Rich Baker told Newsbytes this type of retail promotion has been “used constantly and successfully” by Compuserve for its main Compuserve Information Service (CIS) for “years.”

Wow! is Compuserve’s new offering for new, novice consumer and computer users. Features of the new service include e-mail, Internet access, multimedia sound and motion, and custom views for grown-ups and children, officials said.

The fact that the service is designed for the new computer user is the reason behind Compuserve’s decision not to make a Windows 3.X version available, Baker said. “The people buying multimedia computers today are buying them already with Windows 95 installed, and that is really who Wow! is aimed at,” he said. “So it is very consistent of us to make Wow! available for the Windows 95 platform.”

Baker noted that a Wow! version for the Macintosh operating system will be available “later on,” but no specifics were given.

(Bob Woods/19960306/Press Contacts: Matt Wolfrom, Porter/Novelli, 212-872-8190; Rich Baker, Compuserve, 614-717-4625; Fran McGehee, Tandy, 817-390-3487. Public Contact: for Windows 95 users, 800-9GETWOW)

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