The week that was 5 years ago: new domains, 3G auctions and Visual Studio.Net

It was a week packed with news five years ago. As well as ICANN approving seven new top-level domain names (.biz, .info, .name, .pro, .museum, .aero. and .coop, to be precise), Inprise renaming itself back to Borland, and the launch of Omnis Studio 3.0, the Hybris and Navidad viruses were also doing the rounds.

Swiss 3G auctions had also gone sour. Having seen the UK and German governments garner huge bids for 3G licences, the remaining countries of Europe – one after the other – failed to pull off the same trick. The Swiss government abandoned theirs when the number of bidders fell to the number of licences available.

This week in November 2000 also saw the launch of Netscape 6.0, the wait for which we described as ‘one of the longest and most public gestation periods for any major piece of software’. Its development took two and half years, during which time the company was taken over by Internet giant AOL and took a major strategic gamble by making the code open source, the first time this happened to a major application.

Given the recent launch of the Windows Live initiative, it is interesting that 14 November saw the launch of the first beta of Visual Studio.Net – the development suite for building such .Net-based apps. These were the very early days of Microsoft’s move towards enabling Web services. Five years later and the industry is still being urged to pick up and run with the .Net ball, the framework that will enable most of the Live functionality.

Finally, to finish on a lighter note, one for those who take their cereal seriously – DIY cereal – Internet style. Close to dot com boom territory, we reported that mycereal.com enabled you to create custom cereals. The downside was that each serving of cyber cereal would set you back $1 (about 70p at the time). Cue jokes about high-fibre protocols…

It seems that one is no longer able to customise one’s breakfast bowl at mycereal.com. Who knows what went wrong?

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