Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » O »

online service

A business that provides its subscribers with a wide variety of data transmitted over telecommunications lines. Online services provide an infrastructure in which subscribers can communicate with one another, either by exchanging e-mail messages or by participating in online conferences (forums). In addition, the service can connect users with an almost unlimited number of third-party information providers. Subscribers can get up-to-date stock quotes, news stories hot off the wire, articles from many magazines and journals, in fact, almost any information that has been put in electronic form. Of course, accessing all this data carries a price.

The difference between an online service and a bulletin board service is one of scale and profits. Online services provide a variety of information and services, whereas BBS's normally concentrate on a single theme. In addition, BBS's are often operated on a non-profit basis whereas online services are always for profit. Three of the largest online services are America Online, Compuserve and MSN.

One online service that defies classification is the Internet. In terms of users, it is the largest service, but it is not centrally controlled by any one organization, nor is it operated for profit.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
Who's Moving Ahead in Cloud Computing?

The future remains, well, cloudy. But either way: Amazon, look out. Microsoft is gaining fast. Read More »

Hype Versus Action in the Developer's World

Often times technologies start as hype but with time become adopted. As a developer or technologist, it is worth reading the hype and knowing the... Read More »

Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Q&A

The top 5 Hyper-V questions with answers provided by Nirmal Sharma, a MCSEx3, MCITP and Microsoft MVP in Directory Services. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »

Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »

15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals

Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals  a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »