Feeds

RealNames goes titsup.com

Autocomplete... this

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

According to cynical old-timers in this business, once you've shaken hands with Microsoft - you should count your fingers.

Or the rest of your arm.

RealNames Corp., the VC-funded wheeze that promised to short-circuit the DNS system by doing an exclusive deal with Microsoft, has announced that it will cease trading as of today.

RealNames' proposition was simple, and on the face of it, a no-brainer. Type a real word or phrase into your browser and it would guide you to your destination, bypassing all this cumbersome domain name business. A nice idea, but one based on the assumption that people are fairly stupid, and couldn't figure out that Comp USA's website might be say, CompUSA.com, and that even if you mistook whitehouse.gov for whitehouse.org, you'd be unhappy about the serendipitous diversion.

Microsoft chose to sign an "exclusive" deal with RealNames to use its proxy in Internet Explorer, which provided an irresistible magnet for further investment.

So it's not surprising that this reductive analysis view of humanity caught the attention of Venture Capitalists - who, by nature, are dumber than rocks, and like to think the rest of us are even stupider than they are - and all told, $100 million of capital poured into Real Names.

But RealNames was itself short-circuited by a couple of things. Firstly, the common intelligence of Internet users who in the dot.com era, proved themselves astonishingly capable of adding er, ".com" onto a well known brand, and then - like magic! - arriving at their destination. And also by Microsoft, which added an autocomplete feature to the URL bar giving the rest of the ability to remember stuff we'd typed in before.

Microsoft cancelled its contract with RealNames earlier this year, and as a consequence - the company has no "Plan B" - it's now toast. If you can think of better ways to spend $100 million - and that's a figure we'll all have to underwrite, one way or another - please don't let us know. ®

RealNames founder Keith Teare is not pleased with Microsoft

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.