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Definition: digital economy

The digital economy, which began in the 1990s, includes computers, mobile devices, the Internet and the myriad applications they have spawned. Although computers had been around in abundance in the enterprise since the 1970s, and their impact on the economy was meaningful, it was not until the Internet became a commercial venture that the digital economy really took off. The personal computer and later the smartphone enabled the Internet to flourish worldwide. Also called the "information economy" and "Internet economy." See free economy and economies.