Magazine article Information Today

Growing Internet Industry Responds to User Demand for Colorful Graphical Interface

Magazine article Information Today

Growing Internet Industry Responds to User Demand for Colorful Graphical Interface

Article excerpt

As millions of new users flock to the Internet they are finding access much easier, more enjoyable, and less expensive thanks to toward-supporting graphical user interfaces, a panel of experts told reporters at a press conference during the Fall Internet World trade exposition in Washington, DC. The new service is available on a widespread basis for the first time through the new Concentric Network.

According to Marc Collins-Rector, president and chief executive of Concentric Research Corp., a Bay City, Michigan-based online and Internet service provider, "Our customers are demanding the ability to use die Internet in its full-color glory with the ease of point-and-click applications. The Concentric Network lets them do that, and for an affordable price."

"Until recently, only people with Internet access through universities or expensive dedicated lines were able to access the Internet with a graphical point-and-click interface," Collins-Rector said.

With a regular Internet connection, the world of cyberspace is a black-and-white, text-based environment. "With the new graphical connection through the Concentric Network, the Internet can finally be accessed in full living color, motion, and sound by anyone with a personal computer and a telephone line--and for a reasonable price."

Traditionally, users new to the Internet find it difficult to navigate through the complex coding necessary to jump to distant sites, download data, or send and receive instant Internet e-mail. With graphical interfaces, new users can be off and running in a matter of minutes.

"We are convinced that users want to have instant access to the Internet and the ease of a point-and-click interface," Collins-Rector said. "Our system makes it possible for users to easily jump from site to site on the Internet without having to know arcane commands."

The first graphical interface applications became available in mid-1993 with the introduction of Mosaic, which was developed at the University of Illinois by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Initially, only users with high-speed dedicated connections to the Internet-like those found at universities--would use applications like Mosaic.

But as the popularity of the Internet soared, thanks to increased attention by Vice President Gore and the media, use of the Internet grew from researchers and programmers to the public at large and the public demanded easier interfaces.

Several "hypertext" applications were developed to help users navigate the worldwide network of networks, but even that was not enough to satisfy the desire for a Windows- or Macintosh-like approach to Internet research. …

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