October 2006 – A Very Exciting Month

One of the great things about working in technology is that exciting developments occur so frequently. Some ideas are gone within months whereas others change the business completely. Whether the events of October 2006 go down as boom or bust might not be known for several years, but I thought it might be interesting to revisit two events that have the potential to reshape the World Wide Web.

Internet Explorer 7

Throughout the history of the Internet there has been but one way to surf the Internet – using Roman characters. If you’re language used any script other than A to Z, then you were stuck trying to navigate through a world that made little sense to you. If you wanted to visit a website you would need to type in a foreign language.

All that is slowly changing and the process recently received a huge boost from the release of the first version of Internet Explorer. Version 7 is the first to support IDNs (International Domain Names) so it is now possible to search for “DVD Player” or “Digital Camera” in your native language rather than in English.  It means that numerous Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Arabic-speaking people who previously had difficulty in surfing the web will now have the opportunity.

This new generation of consumers shopping and interacting online will present a large new market for those companies savvy enough to take advantage.

Both China and India are on course to have more Internet users than the United States by the end of 2007 and the launch of Internet Explorer will hasten that event.


“Isn’t that whale?” “Wasn’t that a dance music DJ?” Its easy to make fun of the name but the launch of the .mobi domain name extension has the potential to accelerate the number of people who use the internet on their phone rather than their P.C.

Those of you who surf from your BlackBerry or cellphone already know that many sites do not work on the small screen. In comparison. .mobi has restrictions ensuring that all websites with a .mobi ending will work correctly on the move. Essentially, the aim of the extension is to take the guesswork out of using the mobile Internet. If you go to a .mobi site you will get a site that works.

There are still financial and technological problems to overcome. Surfing via a cellphone is still not easy or within the price range of most people but that is likely to change within the next two or three year.

Flowers.mobi sold for $200,000 and Fun.mobi fetched $100,000 at a recent auction and those sales have only increased the excitement about the possibility that .mobi could become the next .com. Already 4 handheld devices are sold worldwide for every 1 desktop computer. The future of the Internet is mobile. Many people are hoping it will also be .mobi.

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