An earlier online information service that provided access to the Internet, e-mail and a variety of databases. Launched in 1988, Prodigy was the first consumer-oriented online service in the U.S. and one of the first to offer a graphics-based user interface (GUI) rather than text. The original service used proprietary software, but subsequent improvements produced an all-Internet service that used a Web browser. Founded as a partnership of IBM and Sears, Prodigy was acquired by International Wireless in 1996 and then by SBC Communications in 2001. In 2005, SBC merged with AT&T. See online service.