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Amen!! I'm so sick of RealNames. It is almost as silly as AllAdvantage. I asked 20 people at my company if they had ever used a "keyword" and not one had (ok, it *is* possible they did so without knowing about it, which does indicate *some* value in the service). But Teare's current behavior is completely insane. Microsoft should not base it's desicion "solely on business concerns"? Hey, Teare, maybe Microsoft came to its senses and realized it's just plain dumb!

Monday, May 13, 2002

I'm so glad the bubble burst. It's fun to ridicule stupid people - when they were all getting rich *because* of their stupidy, that was just depressing.

The fact that I didn't get rich off the .com bubble may mean I  have have misunderstood who is actually the stupid one here, but cognitive dissonance tells me to ignore that thought. :)

Monday, May 13, 2002

I wonder if Teare is in violation of confidentiality agreements. It appears that, AFTER he was no longer an employee of RealNames, he released at least one document that was covered by an NDA (the Go! technical notes). Of course, if RealNames is defunct, no one may care...

Martin L. Shoemaker
Monday, May 13, 2002

I love Teare's comment in his meeting minutes from his conversation with Microsoft. Microsoft clearly no longer wants anything to do with RealNames, but Teare casually assumes that Microsoft will let him keep their $5,000,000 investment so he can "go on and try another business".

Teare: "Board wants us to wind down the company in an appropriate way if MSFT wants to take out their cash, In that case you get ~5m. If you don't take your cash, we'll go on and try another business."

Banana Fred
Monday, May 13, 2002

And one more thing: IE isn't the only place RealNames could have gone to monetzie its keyword database. Overture is making a decent business doing almost the same thing. AOL might have been interested in combining its keyword database and baking it into Netscape or the IE bundled with each of the 35 million AOL clients. The search URL in IE is customizable by whoever puts the browser on the user's machine as well as after-the-fact. Much of this could have been carried out with a skeleton staff. There does remain an issue, however, where's the value?

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

I believe RealNames was used to resolve "Internationalised Domain Names" -- unicode-character-set domains used in (mainly) Asian countries. People from Asia might regard that as valuable!

More info here:


Adrian Gilby
Tuesday, May 14, 2002

I lived in Japan for a few years and I never saw a domain name in a Japanese character set, they always used regular ASCII characters in domains.

Matthew Lock
Tuesday, May 14, 2002

matthew - the ability to use non us-ascii standard characters in domain names is quite new. maybe less than a year old, certainly less than two.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

I'm living in Japan now and I was here last year when they started registering non ASCII domains.  Everybody rushed to get one.  The problem with them is, very few people can use them.

For example nearly all Japanese cell phones will browse the web but NO Japanese cell phones will let you enter non ASCII into the URL input control on the phone.  I'm sure there's some software and older browsers that also won't let you entire NON-ASCII.

Then you have this problem.  Your company decides to use a non-ascii domain name.  You go on a business trip to another country and you try to access your company's website only to realize that the internet cafe you are at or even the branch office does not have an input method installed that will let you enter the characters you need to access your site.

In otherwords, non-ASCII URLs are not really a big win.  At least it seems that way to me.

Gregg Tavares
Thursday, May 16, 2002

commentary at :

"We're condemning the court's decision as well as the government's prosecution. We're 3 years old, and Microsoft was prepared to give us the trust of owning a core part of the browser. That doesn't seem the behavior of a monopolist."
  - KEITH TEARE, CEO Realnames (20% Microsoft Investment), June 2000

"Microsoft seems to be playing the role of the referee who decides whether any innovations succeed"
- KEITH TEARE, ex-CEO Realnames, after MS cancel contract ... so the name you get allocated really does depends on how much you pay

Friday, May 17, 2002

The only thing bad I see about Microsoft in this story is that they were dumb enough to invest in Realnames in the first place.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Personally I could not care less, but it seems that the Asians are not happy at all that realnames goes under. Here's another article from The Register:

Jan Derk
Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Didn't Google use RealNames for a while a couple of years ago?

Sunday, June 2, 2002

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