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A NEW RESOLUTION

In June 2001, RealNames partnered with VeriSign to offer resolution of IDNs. Illustrated in Figure 14.7, this strategy appeared to be the most promising so far because it side-stepped the drawbacks of both Keywords and plug-ins. Yet despite such promise, RealNames folded in June 2002 when Microsoft decided not to renew its contract with them. Rumor has it that Microsoft is going to build IDN resolution capability into its next generation of Explorer. Until then, companies that had registered multilingual domain names are left in limbo. VeriSign is now promoting a free plug-in that you can use in Explorer or Outlook to resolve IDNs, but this is a short-term solution. The long-term solution is a web browser that has IDN resolution built in and a DNS that fully supports IDNs, which brings us to the ongoing struggle over standards.

Figure 14.7. How RealNames handled IDNs: Using Internet Explorer, a web user entered an IDN. If the browser didn’t recognize the name as valid, which happened with IDNs, it sent the name along to RealNames for resolution.

Source: RealNames (www.realnames.com).



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