The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is launching an evaluation of Internationalized Domain Names that will allow Internet users to test top-level domains in 11 languages and are calling it one of the biggest changes to the Internet since it was created!
An ICANN release says that from 15 October 2007, internet users worldwide will be able to access wiki pages with the domain name example.test in 11 test languages – Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese and Tamil and establish their own subpages with their own names in their own language.
This will be a big breakthrough in the way domain names are registered. The full introduction of Internationalized Domain Names (domain names represented by local language characters and could contain letters or characters from non-ASCII scripts) will mean that people can write the whole of a domain name in the characters used to write their own language!
The wiki links should become live on the ICANN site in a few hours as per the notice. Stay ready to get the .test domain of your choice.
Update: The wikis are now live and can be accessed by typing example.test in the characters of one of the 11 languages, or by going to http://idn.icann.org. You can create your own The 11 evaluation wikis will remain online until IDNs are fully implemented and the first top-level domain is introduced in the evaluation language.
These videos show an introduction to Internationalized Domain Names and how you can use the .test domain name in this evaluation period.