_api in SharePoint 2013 URLs

While browsing some of the MSDN samples on creating Apps for SharePoint, I noticed that they were using _api in some URLs.

Curious on what this was I checked if any new paths had been mapped in IIS Manager; nothing was listed to support his.
Doing some more digging in the SharePoint code, I discovered some special handling in the SPRequestModule.

_api is just a shorthand for _vti_bin/client.svc


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