Will you be registering a .co domain in June?
For the past two decades, the most common domain name ending (TLD, or "top-level domain") has been the venerable .com, with many companies registering the international .com as well as their own country-specific domains if outside the US (such as .com.au for Australia or .co.nz for New Zealand). The problem is, these generic .com domains are fast running out - very few common words are left, leaving new brands to come up with obscure misspellings of words (like flickr.com) or pay large sums for existing words (like the US$5.1 million paid for toys.com last year).
Now, the nation of Colombia is hoping to help alleviate this problem of domain name shortages by offering up its TLD, .co, to any international company owning a trademark for a name. The land-rush will begin in June. Domains will be US$30 annually, compared with the much more expensive .com.au domains and much cheaper (but more difficult to secure) .com domains.
Over the past few years there have been several attempts to fix domain name shortages with new TLDs, including such unnotable examples as .biz and .info. It seems that for consumers, .com (and the associated country codes) are just too much a drawcard compared to obscure new domains.
It seems very likely that .co will be a short-term success, with potentially millions of domain web managers flocking to register in June. Will .co be a success with consumers in the long run? Only time will tell.