When the decision came down to approve the .XXX domain name this year for the web, there was madness and anarchy, clamoring to either get that perfect porn-related name for ones self or to block the enemy from doing so - this is now set to continue through 2012 and beyond as ICANN (the authorities on such things) have approved the expansion of generic top level domains, this allowing groups to create such gems as .coke, .derp, and .whatevertheywant. Companies will have to pay a healthy sum for such rights as these, dropping no less than $185,000 USD for the application process alone.
When you're starting up your own business and want it to be represented online, the first place you really aught to go is with a .COM. After that, it's all out in the open - until now of course, where not just such things as .NET and .ORG are out there. There's been a limited set of Top Level Domains up until now including .US and .CA amongst many, many others, but starting in January of 2012, ICANN will begin approving domains of all sorts, no holds barred.
You'll have to send in an application fee of $185,000 USD, then your annual fee is $25,000 USD just to maintain your name. How will a group like Apple be able to resist the idea that they'd be able to have http://Apple.Computer/ or http://Apple.iPhone/, hmmm? The answer is this: they will not! This decision made by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will re-open the floodgates for big businesses, without a doubt. What we're hoping they do after the first year or so (good luck) is to reduce the price so lowly single humans can afford to do the same. Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of ICANN, has high hopes:
“ICANN has opened the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today's decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind.” - Breckstrom
We'll see starting January 12, 2012 running until April 12, 2012, at which time the initial application period will be done and over. New domain names will then appear within a year.