Xoom began in the mid-1990's as a software company with a twist. They sold programs and Clip Art that you could purchase and then download at your leisure for up to a year, at which time your license to download would run out. You could use the programs you did take indefinitely. They offered a "Professional Office Suite", which included Xoom Word Pro, a Microsoft Word 6.0 compatible word processing program; Xoom Calc, a spreadsheet program; Xoom tutors, a program which appears to be similar to the current Video Professor series for the computer illiterate; Xoom International Spellers, which was a spell-check program that worked with several languages; Xoom Photo, a photo retoucher that interacted with Lycos in some fashion; and a program similar in use with a DayRunner called Xoom Info. All were yours to download for $29.95. According to them, you'd know who the developers were if they could tell you. I smell the mob. They also offered a clip-art collection, which contained over 12,000 fonts, drawings, videos, line arts, et cetera. It, too, cost $29.95.

By the end of 1998 they still sold clip-art, which would gradually become a monstrous 250,000 clip collection called "Xoom Web Clip Empire", but they were also moving into the crowded free webspace game. To differentiate themselves from Geocities and Angelfire they offered decent Java chat rooms and generally would give you a lot more space than the competitors, all the way up to 100 MB at the height of the e-commerce boom. They had a reputation, however, for being incredibly unstable and slow, and it was certainly deserved. However, it was said that in 1998 one in every three web visitors went through Xoom at least once.

In 1999 NBC decided it wanted to create a huge media portal, and that the best way to do it was to purchase two other huge portals. And so, Xoom and Snap.com became NBCi. NBCi, however, floundered, and that's how the story ends, with Xoom a forgotten part of a forgotten web site (NBCi is still accessible, but the marketing blitz has come to a screeching halt.) Even though Xoom.com no longer exists, its business model was ahead of its time, and the buy-now/download-whenever model is often used today.

Has anyone here ever used any of Xoom's software? If so, msg me with your opinions on them. It seemed like a pretty good deal.