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Steven Parker217,443 Points
The "www" would be part of the domain name, it's not a substitute for a protocol specifier. Some sites begin with "www" but many don't, and some work with or without it. It all depends on how the site owner has configured their DNS (domain name service).
The "http://" is a protocol specifier and must be supplied for operations that require it, regardless what the rest of the name is.