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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).

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.

After the company parted ways with Apple in October 1989, Quantum changed the service's name to America Online.

From the beginning, AOL included online games in its mix of products; many classic and casual games were included in the original Play Net software system.

1991 also saw the introduction of an original Dungeons & Dragons title called Neverwinter Nights from Stormfront Studios; which was one of the first Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games to depict the adventure with graphics instead of text.

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.

At one point, 50% of the CDs produced worldwide had an AOL logo.

Over the next several years, AOL launched services with the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, Pearson, Scholastic, ASCD, NSBA, NCTE, Discovery Networks, Turner Education Services (CNN Newsroom), NPR, The Princeton Review, Stanley Kaplan, Barron's, Highlights for Kids, the U. Department of Education, and many other education providers.

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