How France fell out of love with Minitel
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 10/06/2012 18:57
It was France's first glimpse of an online future. But now, 30 years after it was invented, the wired experiment that foreshadowed the World Wide Web is about to lose its connection once and for all.
Thirty years ago, France led the world into the 21st century, but the world hardly noticed. In 1981-82, two French inventions offered a glimpse of the future. One was the Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) or high-speed train. The other was the Minitel. The what?
Long before the coming of the World Wide Web, the Minitel provided a sort of internet-in-one-country. Long before Facebook, Google or Twitter - millions of French people went "online" daily to search for information, to book their holidays, chat to strangers or seek cheap (or not so cheap) sexual thrills.