Pretty soon, having a .com domain address will look about as cool as driving around in a 1996 Buick Century woody wagon. That's because the people at ICANN who lay down the rules about this stuff, have just opened the floodgates to allow just about any domain name you want.
Up until today, generic top-level domain (gTLD) names have been limited to 22 different choices such as .org and .net in addition to the most popular .com. But now any group or organization can have their own, such as .ford or .doctor.
As with most good things, there is a catch. Registering for your new gTLD will cost you a cool $185,000, so don't expect to see .DVICE anytime soon. Despite the cost, ICANN expects about 500 corporations and groups will sign up for a new domain in the initial rush, and this is likely to bring on a whole new round of squabbles like the cybersquatting that was popular 15 years ago as the Internet expended. After all, wouldn't you expect Apple (the iPhone people) and Apple Corps (a multifaceted corporation started by members of The Beatles) to come to blows over the .apple domain?
Another crazy thing is that the new rules allow domains in alphabets other than English, so you'll soon be seeing web addresses with Chinese and Cyrillic characters. That's going to be pretty tough for native English speakers trying to find exotic Russian porn or cheap factory direct Chinese electronics. I expect the copy and paste function will grow in popularity as we go to mystery sites in foreign languages.
ICANN says they will start accepting requests next January, and that you can expect the new domains to start rolling out late next year.