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Kimsey soon began to groom Case to take over the role of CEO, which he did when Kimsey retired in 1991.The Quantum Link software was based on software licensed from Play Net, Inc, (founded in 1983 by Howard Goldberg and Dave Panzl).

Within three years, AOL's user base grew to 10 million people.

Its sole product was an online service called Game Line for the Atari 2600 video game console, after von Meister's idea of buying music on demand was rejected by Warner Bros.

Subscribers bought a modem from the company for US.95 and paid a one-time US setup fee.

AOL (formerly a company known as AOL Inc., originally known as America Online, and stylized as Aol.) is a web portal and online service provider based in New York.

It is a brand marketed by Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

In May 1988, Quantum and Apple launched Apple Link Personal Edition for Apple II and Macintosh computers.

In August 1988, Quantum launched PC Link, a service for IBM-compatible PCs developed in a joint venture with the Tandy Corporation.

In January 2000, AOL and Time Warner announced plans to merge, forming AOL Time Warner, Inc.

The terms of the deal called for AOL shareholders to own 55% of the new, combined company. The new company was led by executives from AOL, SBI, and Time Warner.

AOL offered the first real-time homework help service (the Teacher Pager—1990; prior to this, AOL provided homework help bulletin boards), the first service by children, for children (Kids Only Online, 1991), the first online service for parents (the Parents Information Network, 1991), the first online courses (1988), the first omnibus service for teachers (the Teachers' Information Network, 1990), the first online exhibit (Library of Congress, 1991), the first parental controls, and many other online education firsts.

During this time, AOL connections would be flooded with users trying to get on, and many canceled their accounts due to constant busy signals.

This is commonly referred to as the "Eternal September", as Usenet's cycle of new users was previously dominated by smaller numbers of college and university freshmen gaining access in September and taking a few weeks to acclimate.