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Launched by Microsoft in 1996, the goal of the Millennium research project was to make a software program run on thousands of computers as easily and simply as on a single system. Millennium is geared toward separating an operating system (OS) from an application by raising the level of abstraction. The project's prototypes offer increased performance and customizability, while the project's infrastructure division focuses on factors like performance and self-optimization. Millennium employs aggressive optimization methods to optimize distributed computing systems without affecting applications.