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Rapid advances in networking and microprocessor technologies have led to the emergence of Internet-wide distributed computing systems ranging from simple LAN-based clusters to planetary-scale networks. As these network computing systems evolve by combining the best features of existing systems, differences among NCs are blurring. To address this problem, researchers have proposed formal taxonomies of NC systems. We propose a new taxonomy that is both broad enough to encompass all NC systems and simple enough to be widely used.