From 2012 you say goodbye to an Internet landscape dominated by dot coms.
There are 23 top level domains right now with the .com suffix being the most prevalent, but all that is about to change.
The people who run the system of naming on the Internet are ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They have administered the top-level domains (TLD) that we're most familiar with: the .gov, .com, .org and .net. They announced on Monday in Singapore that they are removing the restriction so that next year it will allow nearly any word in any language to be a TLD.
For $185,000 an organization can apply for to administer a Internet suffice, so we can expect to see TLDs like .nyc, .hitachi, .dot, .wifi and anything else an organization can dream up. It's unlikely we'll see .wtf or .what, unless someone with $185,000 to spare decides to do something zany.
According to the chairman of ICANN's board of directors, Peter Dengate Thrush, this is "the most significant change to the Internet, really, since it was created". This is a view not shared by the ex-chairman Esther Dyson who does not see the value in this new naming system.
"I think it's kind of a useless market," Dyson said adding that it's an unnecessary and expensive extension to something that already works well.