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The Dotcom Domain Turns 25

March 15, 2010

Internet users everywhere are celebrating the silver anniversary of the dotcom domain name, as it was 25 years ago today that a Massachusetts computer manufacturer became the first company to use the now widespread “.com” extension on the World Wide Web.

“This birthday is really significant because what we are celebrating here is the internet and dotcom is a good, well known placeholder for the rest of the internet,” Mark Mclaughlin, the CEO of domain certification management firm VeriSign, told BBC News reporter Maggie Shiels on Monday. “Who would have guessed 25 years ago where the internet would be today. This really was a groundbreaking event.”

History was made on March 15, 1985 when Symbolics, Inc. registered Symbolics.com and entered the history books. According to Chris Irvine of the Telegraph UK, it was soon followed by BBN Technologies’ bbn.com and think.com, which is now part of the Oracle Educational Foundation ThinkQuest educational network for students and teachers.

The majority of the original 100 .com domains belonged to computer manufacturers, claims Irvine. Apple registered their website in 1987 and Microsoft established their .com presence in 1991. According to the BBC News, the one-millionth .com domain name was registered in 1997. Today, claims Irvine, there are more than 84 million domain names in all, and according to Shiels, more than 650,000 new .com websites are registered globally each month.

“Dotcoms have touched us in a way we could not have imagined,” Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) told BBC News on Monday. “Today we see how dotcoms have enriched our lives that if you are not engaged you would be fine but much further behind than the rest of us.

“The Symbolics.com is currently owned by XF.com, who purchased the domain from Symbolics, Inc. in 2009. XF.com CEO Aron Meystedt recently told DN Journal that his company was “extremely excited to own the Symbolics.com domain name”¦ For us to own the first domain is very special to our company, and we feel blessed for having the ability to obtain this unique property.”

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