The Internet has caught on like wild fire. No one ever intended for it to be so commercially successful. In the beginning, its main purpose was to send and receive messages; no one anticipated that one-day people could buy books and cars over a computer. Though with the advancement of certain technologies, this has happened. Ecommerce is a worldwide commodity that has taken the place of trips to the supermarket and has given us the freedom to conduct business at our house in our pyjamas. To fully understand what e-commerce is, you must first understand where it came from. It all started with the DOD (Department of Defense) in 1996. After the Cold War the Government wanted a reliable line of communication. If a network link became damaged by enemy attack, the information on it could be rerouted automatically to other links. This was the birth of the Internet. In order to use anything on the Internet, it is required that you learn to operate a separate program, one for the mail, one for news groups, and several different programs for accessing databases. This all changed in 1989. A researcher at CERN (a big European physics laboratory) named Tim Berners-Lee started to work on hypertext. By using hypertext he could link together all the different kinds of information available on the Internet. Berners-Lee called the software pack the World Wide Web. For the World Wide Web to work, each page has it’s own address that the web recognizes using a system called HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol). Each page has to be written with a special language called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). This language tells the computer how to display a page. Now with the invention of the web, Businesses can use pictures to help sell their merchandise online, and now that the Internet is everywhere- in schools, libraries, and even cafes – anyone can order just about anything from anywhere. It is now easier than ever to have and start your own web page; anyone from a big corporation or even the average joe can build his or her own web page. Just like Jeff Bezos, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year of 1999. With a loan from the bank, Jeff founded Amazon.com in his garage and helped start e-commerce, as we now know it. Many companies are trying to more like Amazon.com and trying to be as profitable as Bezon and Amazon.com. An example of this is eBay.com, an online web auction site, that lets everyone clean out his or her attic and make a profit. Like Sharon Balkwitsch who has sold antiques on eBay. For instance, an Art Deco ashtray that she bought for $20, sold for $290, and a vase she bought for $5 sold for $585, both on eBay. She could make nowhere near that much by selling these items in her hometown. Now thanks to the web everyone all aver the world can have a chance to bid on these items and help make Sharone richer. E-commerce is still in its developmental stage at this point. There is room for improvement for the creators as well as for the manufacturers of these goods being sold on the web. With as much support as e-commerce has gotten, it is easy to see that it will be a lasting innovation in the world of computers.

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