Bill’s Old Thoughts

I thought it might be worth reposting this release from 11 months ago. Note in particular the quotation from Bill Bliss. Funny if it wasn’t so tragic. What happened Bill, have a change of mind? Is Microsoft no longer “a global company with a global vision” making “the Internet easier to navigate for everyone—whatever the native language”? Is Microsoft no longer interested in “helping to deliver the truly international Web”?


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VeriSign Announces Breakthrough in Web Navigation For Tens of Millions of Users Worldwide

Users can now reach Web sites via domain names in their own languages through Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0

Mountain View, California, June 20, 2001-VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), the leading provider of Internet trust services, today announced that Internet users can now reach Web site destinations by typing domain names with characters used in their own languages into their Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher browser software. These Internationalized Domain Names, or IDNs, contain non-ASCII characters to the left of the “dot” and are available in more than 350 languages. Using technology from RealNames Corporation, Microsoft modified a search function of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 to enable the IDNs to work without the use of special plug-ins or client software.

“For tens of millions of people around the world, the Internet just became much easier to navigate,” said Herb Hribar, general manager of VeriSign’s Global Registry Service division. “Today’s announcement is a significant step towards a truly global Internet.”

To date nearly one million IDNs have been registered. The names are popular with businesses and individuals building Web sites for non-English speaking audiences and with global companies using the phonetic equivalents of their business names in foreign markets. To enable full functionality of the IDNs without the use of special plug-ins or clients, Microsoft enabled its MSN Search function to recognize IDNs and forward them to servers managed by RealNames. RealNames then translates the IDN character strings for referral to the Internet Domain Name System. This translation is transparent to the user and does not impede performance.

“As a global company with a global vision, Microsoft continually looks for ways to make the Internet easier to navigate for everyone—whatever the native language,” said Bill Bliss, general manager of Search and Navigation Services at Microsoft Corp. “By modifying MSN Search to let users directly access internationalized domain names, Microsoft is helping to deliver the truly international Web.”

“RealNames is pleased that our services increase access to internationalized domain names,” said Keith Teare, CEO of RealNames. “RealNames technology is embedded in the widely-deployed Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, and can now provide ubiquitous distribution for IDNs. The evolution of Web addresses to support multiple languages and character sets has taken its next step.”

Throughout the IDN Testbed, VeriSign has maintained its commitment to ensure current and future compliance with evolving IDN standards being developed within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). While the standards process continues, VeriSign has partnered with the RealNames to create an interim solution for Internet users to use IDNs. This partnership does not interfere in any way with the standards process, nor change VeriSign’s commitment to compliance with the IETF standards.

To demonstrate the functionality of this new service, VeriSign has created a series of one-page Web sites using IDNs. More information about these Web sites and instructions to view a demonstration is available from the VeriSign Web site at Registrations in the testbed continue to be made through the active ICANN-accredited registrars who have passed the internationalized domain name certification. A list of registrars who are certified in the testbed can be found at the VeriSign Global Registry Services Web site (<a href=""][/url]).

About RealNames
RealNames Corporation is the global infrastructure provider of Keywords and offers a naming platform for the next generation Internet. The RealNames registration and resolution name services platform provides a modern naming layer on top of DNS. Keywords are a superior Web naming registration platform that extends the existing Domain Name System, and are integrated into Microsoft Internet Explorer browser software and the Openwave Mobile Access Gateway. RealNames Keywords and name services are available through a worldwide channel of Registries and Registrars. For more information, please enter Keyword: RealNames to visit our Web site.

About VeriSign
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN – news) is the leading provider of trusted infrastructure services to Web sites, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals. The company’s domain name, digital certificate and payment services provide the critical Web identity, authentication and transaction infrastructure that online businesses require to conduct secure e-commerce and communications. VeriSign’s services are available through its Web site ( or through its direct sales force and reseller partners around the world.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign’s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, VeriSign’s limited operating history under its current business structure, uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, increased competition, risks associated with the company’s international business and risks related to potential security breaches. More information about potential factors that could affect the company’s business and financial results is included in VeriSign’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for thequarter ended March 31, 2001. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

VeriSign is a registered trademark of VeriSign, Inc. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

VeriSign Contacts:
Media Contact: Nancy Huddleston,, (703) 948-4521
Investor Contact: Katie Ochsner,, (650) 429-3512

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