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The History of Dialog - Transcript

The year is 1964. The Space Race is in full swing. Mercury has given way to Gemini. Apollo is on the drawing board. And America has made a dramatic entrance into the Space Age. In a small office in Palo Alto, California, Roger Summit is assigned to manage an obscure program for the Lockheed Missile and Space Company. One year later, the Information Sciences Laboratory demonstrates its first interactive retrieval service.

It's 1968. Though they're still a year away from putting a man on the moon, NASA is focused on even more distant goals. They've asked Lockheed to study methods for managing large data files and the Recon Project is underway. Summit responds with an innovation in the way data is handled. He calls this new language "Dialog." The project is such a success, Summit is able to convince Lockheed management of the commercial application of this powerful new technology.

1972. A turbulent period comes to an end. Television focuses our attention on world events like never before. The public thirsts for information and an opportunity is seen and seized. Dialog offers the first publicly available online research service. A company is born.

Our world continues to change at a dizzying pace. The ArpaNet gets its first demonstration to the public. Though the Internet is still 15 years away, technologists have seen the vision of worldwide instantaneous data communication. More and more content is added to the Dialog databases.

1981. The PC is born and Dialog is there, now officially as Dialog Information Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Lockheed Corporation. Others are now entering the fray. The Swiss government participates in the formation of Radio Suisse to provide information services to industry. The service initially focuses on a niche market: biomedical and pharmaceutical information. Its name: DataStar. In the '80s DataStar quickly grows to become a major player in European news and professional information.

At the same time, a young London market researcher decides there must be a better way. Founded on a shoestring, his Market Analysis and Information Database, or M.A.I.D, was the first product of its kind. It quickly became invaluable to market research professionals.

The mid '80s are a turning point. Apple introduces the Macintosh and Microsoft delivers Windows. The information world is coming of age and an irresistible gravitational force is drawing key industry players together.

1988. The game is on! Knight-Ridder purchases Dialog from Lockheed. A few years later, DataStar is also acquired. As we enter the final decade of the 20th century, an unrelenting force is pulling our world together. Nations barricaded inside a broken system get a glimpse of hope as the walls come tumbling down. At this very moment, the paradigms of how we communicate and interact are changed forever as millions of users worldwide take their first virtual steps into cyberspace.

The M.A.I.D service joins the Internet revolution with the launch of Profound. DataStar introduces its Web interface, too.

It's 1997. Three of the most powerful brands in online information are united for the first time providing unprecedented researching power.

The year: 2000. As people around the world celebrate the new millennium, there is yet another convergence as Thomson acquires Dialog. The cycle is complete. New possibilities arise as the most powerful information company in the world joins with the company that started it all.

For over 35 years, the hallmark of all Dialog products has been the powerful equities we've earned over time. Across the globe, Dialog has come to stand for the services the information professional turns to first: unsurpassed breadth and depth of content; sophisticated, precision search tools; and the speed that's demanded by today's information professional.

In 103 countries, on 6 continents, in 23 times zones, Dialog is foremost among providers of professional information. Our vision is clear. Our moment is here. Right now.


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