June 21

Beginning on January 12, 2012, the door will open to essentially unlimited variations of domain names.  The current suite of 22 gTLDs (generic top-level domains, such as .com, .org, .net, .edu) will blossom to almost anything you can imagine.

According to the ICANN press release:

“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,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.

New gTLDs will change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence. Virtually every organization with an online presence could be affected in some way.

Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.

“Today’s decision will usher in a new Internet age,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN’s Board of Directors. “We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration.”

For the full press release, please visit http://www.icann.org/en/news/releases/release-20jun11-en.pdf

Image courtesy of CBS News and iStockPhoto.