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As software has increased in use and importance, the applications people depend on in all aspects of their lives have evolved along a dual path of richness and reach. In the early days of computing, mainframe applications, while powerful for single-purpose problem solving, were neither rich in functionality nor did they have broad reach. As the new generation of personal computers spread throughout businesses, schools, and homes, richer graphical applications evolved with improved functionality and usability. The reach of these user-centric applications, however, was limited to the local desktop and to servers on local networks.
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