Online service provider CompuServe and search-engine company Lycos are at work on a deal that will embed Lycos's search engine into the CompuServe interface by year end, CompuServe's president and CEO has told @IDG.
The Columbus Ohio-based online service company is also working on software that lets users build virtual communities by integrating different forums, content and chat groups, president and CEO Robert Massey says. The tools will include functionality for building online businesses, complete with advertisements and transaction mechanisms.
"We'll give you software that is part of CompuServe that will let you create communities of interest which could be, for instance, the Tokyo community, the golf community, the press community," he says. "The tools are in development now and within six months or maybe 90 days they will be available."
The new software and the Lycos plan are part of CompuServe's strategy for a "seamless integration of the Internet with the CompuServe environment," Massey says, a strategy reflected in the integration of Microsoft's Explorer browser into the latest version of CompuServe's interface, CompuServe 3.0.
Once the Lycos search engine is integrated into CompuServe, users will be able to search the World Wide Web from their CompuServe client software, Massey says, declining to provide further details.