Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 28th Jun 2012 13:48 UTC, submitted by Kroc
In the News "The failure of Minitel was not one of technology, [...] It was the whole model that was doomed. Basically to set up a service on Minitel, you had to ask permission from France Telecom. You had to go to the old guys who ran the system, and who knew absolutely nothing about innovation. It meant that nothing new could ever happen. Basically, Minitel innovated from 1978 to 1982, and then it stopped." This is what the World Wide Web could one-day look like. Dearth of innovation for the want of permission.
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RE: Comment by phoudoin
by zima on Thu 28th Jun 2012 15:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by phoudoin"
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

How much of a failure Minitel really was, anyway? Yes, maybe it didn't turn out long-term viable, but some (hm, mostly the British?... ;) ) seem to make too big deal out of it - in the meantime, Minitel was quite successful, apparently by far the most successful such service, when the rest of the world had... almost nothing.

And did it negatively impact French internet in any significant way, comparably to neighbours? (in the recent discussion about Minitel http://www.osnews.com/comments/26081 matako points out "this article from 1995 claims that (at the time) " France now boasts one of the world's more significant growth curves in Internet usage." http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december95/12kessler.html ")


BTW, I stumbled there on a nice 1990 documentary about Minitel http://archive.org/details/frenchtech1 (overall, all those Computer Chronicles episodes)

5 minutes mark - apparently the major (main?) motivation behind Minitel was to replace paper phonebooks, which were being quickly obsoleted due to rapid expansion of telephone network. I'd say it nicely expanded further from that usage scenario as it did - at 7 minutes, quite a few services; even "Amazon" at 9m. Maybe even things did happen, like that mentioned forum or chat of sorts to French politicians, or to Romania when their revolution unfolded.

Is France among the few places where ISDN saw wide adoption?

(funny journey to the past at the end - upcoming première of Win 3.0, with "3D on-screen look"! ...and a mention of contemporary tablet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRiDPad )

Edited 2012-06-28 15:36 UTC

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