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Multilingual Domain Name Redux

It has been roughly a year since RealNames imploded, bringing down with it a service that had supported the resolution of multilingual domain names. The implosion was a big blow to Verisign because it was making money off the registration of multilingual domain names, also known as internationalized domain names (IDNs). After all, companies don’t need to register multilingual domain names if there is no hope of customers actually using them.

Here’s what a multilingual domain name looks like:

idn.gif

About a week ago, Verisign launched the i-Nav plug-in. This piece of software works with your Internet browser to support the input and resolution of multilingual domain names. Other companies have offered similar plug-ins for years, but Verisign, by its sheer market dominance, is the one company that stands a shot at making it succeed. You can download it here.

I’ve been writing about multilingual domain names for years. You can read one past article here. I’m glad to see Verisign offering the plug-in, but I’m still looking forward to the day when this functionality comes built in to every Web browser.

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John Yunker
John is co-founder of Byte Level Research and author of . He has published 14 annual editions of The Web Globalization Report Card and is also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.
John Yunker
John Yunker

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