"Twenty years ago, virtually all companies selling networking
products sold products based on proprietary protocols. These
vendors were hoping to dominate the networking market by locking
out other vendors who did not support their protocols.
"Among these vendors were then-LAN software giant Novell and
Microsoft. What none foresaw was the emergence of a vendor-neutral
standards body, the Internet Engineering Task Force. The IETF was
developing a set of protocols that would supplant the current
protocols of these vendors, as well as their dreams of network
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