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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Apple, Google, Amazon: Give us our own domains
ICANN reveals who's going after new top-level-domains in a move that could shake up how we enter Web addresses. Nominees range from .book and .music to .lol and .wow.
June 13, 2012 | Get ready to be a bit more confused about Web site addresses.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers today revealed which generic top-level-domains that companies and organizations have applied for, a major step in the six-year-long process to expand the domain name system to create more competition in a world dominated by dot-com names. For consumers, it means a new way of typing in URL, moving beyond the standard .com or .url addresses.
"It's a historic day for the Internet," said ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom. "The internet is about to change forever."
For the first time, brands can have their own TLDs, also known as "strings." And many are. Among the brands that have secured their domain extensions are .Google, which we know about, but also Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Dell. Others include Sony, Nokia, Netflix, Oracle, Cisco, Yahoo, and AOL.
Others are gunning not for their own names, but to land the contract to run and manage the .TLD, the way that Verisign runs .com.
Google was particularly aggressive in applying for TLDs. In addition to .Google, it applied to nab .android, .chrome, .cloud, .lol, .vip, and .wow. Amazon likewise had multiple applications beyond its own name, including .book, .fire., .music, and .free. Microsoft has applied to cover several of its brands, including .azure, .hotmail, .skydrive, and .skype. Symantec also applied for .cloud, alongside .protection and .antivirus.
Domains such as .home, .free, and .movie were among the names with multiple applicants. ICANN officials said they encourage different parties to work together and partner on domain names, saying it would give priority to community-based TLD applications.
A couple of eyebrow-raising TLDs include .sex, .porn, and .sucks. ICANN said it has taken measures to protect companies and brands from being exploited under these domains. The group added that it has the right to take back TLDs if a party has shown it is abusing the domain.
Tech companies aren't the only ones getting in on the TLD action. Consumer brands include American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, and AllState, which have all applied for multiple domains.