Today in Apple history: Apple’s eWorld online service goes live

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It doesn't get more 1990s than this!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

June 20: Today in Apple historyJune 20, 1994: Apple launches eWorld, a subscription service for Mac owners that’s designed to compete with America Online and other nascent online properties.

Part messaging service and part news aggregator, eWorld is supposed to push Apple into competition with the likes of AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.

Today in Apple history: eWorld closes its virtual doors

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macintosh_90s-780x639
Short of a Nirvana MIDI playing in the background, you can't get more 1990s than this!
Photo: Andrea Grell/Ste Smith

March9March 9, 1996: Apple confirms that it will shut down its eWorld online service at the end of the month.

Part messaging service, part news aggregator — and all with Apple’s customary premium prices — Apple’s short-lived eWorld was ahead of its time. Subscribers are advised that they can switch to America Online (AOL) instead.

Today in Apple history: eWorld opens its virtual doors

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macintosh_90s
Short of a Nirvana MIDI playing in the background, you can't get more 1990s than this!
Photo: Andrea Grell/Ste Smith

Monday20 On June 20, 1994, Apple launched its short-lived eWorld service. Why is eWorld so significant? Because it represented Apple’s first deep dive into being a provider of internet services — several years before Steve Jobs returned to the company and embraced the importance of going online.

Part messaging service, part news aggregator — and all with Apple’s customary premium prices — eWorld was ahead of its time.

19 Years Later, eWorld Is Dead; Long Live eWorld

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eWorld Is Where I Wanna Be

I remember when I got my first computer, ever, at the age of 24. It was a Macintosh Performa 638CD, and it came with this sweet little 14.4 baud modem that was my entree to the whole of the internet, which really wasn’t that popular back then.

I remember finding this cool little icon on the Mac with a little hand-drawn person on it, called eWorld. Hmm, I wondered. What the heck was eWorld?

Clicking through, I found an adorable little electronic village, all in that hand-drawn, gentle style. Oh, this must be like Compuserve, or Prodigy, right?

Well, yes and no. The softer, gentler world of eWorld was only for Macs, and it was my favorite place to go. Never mind that it was kind of empty; it was beautiful and I loved it.