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Happy Birthday Dotcom as Internet Domain Name Turns 25

It was not until the late 1990s that it really took off but today the internet celebrates the 25th birthday of the dotcom domain name.

On 15 March 1985, the first company to add dotcom to its name was a computer maker named Symbolics.

Today, 100,000 dotcom sites are registered every day and there are nearly 86m active sites.

And the man behind the company looking after the dotcom domain is predicting changes in the way we use the internet.

For most of the late 1980s and early 1990s hardly anyone knew what a dotcom was, yet today it is part of the fabric of our lives and is regarded as the hallmark of the commercial internet.

In 1985, a total of six dotcom domain names were registered.

Now, as well as the millions of active sites currently operational, there have been another 113m that have come and gone over the last quarter of a century.

Today, people go online to dotcom sites to shop, connect with people, engage with government, be entertained, learn new things, exchange ideas and plan holidays.

Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Verisign, the company responsible for looking after the dotcom domain, said: "Who would have guessed 25 years ago where the internet would be today and the number of businesses that have been built on it."

He also predicted changes over the next quarter of a century.

"I think that the way we access information today, mostly still through PCs and laptops is highly likely to change; that the voice will be more important than text input.

"I think the whole fabric of how we access, search, find and get information is going to be radically different."

The million mark for dotcom domains was not achieved until 1997, well into the internet boom.

And then came the dotcom explosion with nearly 20m names registered in the following two years.

But what of Symbolics, the first company to claim the dotcom domain?

It went bust and was bought in 2009 by a company that buys and sells dotcoms for a living.

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