Microsoft and Sony are among a large group of corporations in the process of reserving special web extensions for their company websites. There are only so many ".coms", ".nets", and ".orgs", so companies are preparing for the time when category-based web extensions are no longer relevant.

So in the future; "Xbox.com" will be... "Xbox.xbox"? Realistically, the address will be "microsoft.xbox", or something along those lines.

".xbox" and ".playstation" are just a couple of the extensions the two companies are picking up. For 2.035 million, Microsoft will buy 11 extensions, including ".bing", ".skype", and ".windows". Sony is looking to reserve ".sony" and ".xperia" for a cool $555,000.

I was thinking about grabbing ".Mike" before anybody else, but it turns out that buying a personalized "top-level domain" is a much more expensive and time-consuming process than buying a web address on GoDaddy. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires potential extension-owners to put down at least $185,000 just to be considered. ICANN assesses whether it makes sense for the company in question to own their extension based on a variety of criteria, basically so no one person buys up all the domains and effectively "owns the internet". Once a company is approved, other potential buyers are allowed to object if they feel they're more deserving.

The approval process takes anywhere from 9-20 months to complete, so it's going to be awhile before we start seeing any major shifts from either Microsoft or Sony.

[From New Statesman via Joystiq]