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    RealNames plays Unreal | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 17 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: RealNames plays Unreal
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Sunday May 12 2002, @03:19AM (#6256)
    User #2810 Info
    Keith Teare, founder and former head of RealNames, speaks out on the plug being pulled. Some interesting bits:

    VeriSign had just committed to a plan to give every com, net and org customer 5 free promotional Keywords for 30 days. This would have resulted in widespread awareness and great revenue boost.
    I don't see this as a panacea. That would have required that most of them would be very obscure keywords, hence little traffic. And even less revenue.
    We [MicroSoft] do not believe in "Naming", we believe in search. This is because we control search 100% whereas we could never control naming. Some of us believe search results are a better experience than navigation through naming. Sure the URL and the DNS are broken, but to fix it is a big job with no clear reward for Microsoft.
    I fail to see how Microsoft controls search 100%, even using Internet Explorer and MSN search (as is now displayed when one types a non-existent domain name using IE's URL line). While Microsoft has some control over search rankings, and could assume more by either screening each submission like Yahoo, or going to a pay for placement model like overture.com, it still wouldn't be 100%. Those not liking the results would use another search engine, and both screening and pay for placement results fall far short of using relevance algorithms as Google does. AOL recently replaced its use of Overture for searching with Google, for example. I can't see even Microsoft trying a stunt where IE wouldn't resolve google.com or yahoo.com.
    The only naming technology in the world capable of allowing non-ASCII characters to be used as web addresses is being killed at birth - before it succeeds and becomes "out of control".
    At birth (1998) is a bit of a stretch even without internet time. It also isn't the only non-ASCII naming technology, walid.com is one of the others.
    Now, Bill Bliss - who runs MSN Search and was until recently in charge of the RealNames relationship, has in the last few weeks been moved to "Natural Language Platforms" and is charged with developing a variant of our system. The browser is now back under Microsoft's control and it is possible that - having learned much from RealNames - it will develop its own version of our resolution service.
    Which is what I said here earlier. This may not allow MicroSoft 100% control, but it gives them more control. IE is the default browser for a majority (putatively 88%) of the world's users. The percentage in non-primarily English speaking countries is probably at least that high. Functional, though faux, IDN resolution would give MicroSoft yet another near monopoly. In practical terms, that's close enough. Indeed it is probably better than having a 100% monopoly as it slows down the regulators.
    What is shared cannot be controlled.
    Microsoft, and ICANN, understand that one very well. And MicroSoft has been at it far longer and now has a massive head start on IDN resolution. Be afraid... -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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