Well, its true. RealNames is gone. Their home page now says:
Microsoft Decision Triggers RealNames Closure
Following Three Consecutive Quarters of Revenue Growth and Dramatic Growth in Keyword Usage, Microsoft Decides Not to Renew Keyword Contract
RealNames Keywords are activated in the Microsoft IE browser pursuant to a distribution agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft has chosen not to renew that agreement. Keywords will continue to resolve in Microsoft Internet Explorer browser until June 30, 2002, at which time the service will no longer be available.
RealNames has ceased normal business operations and commenced an orderly wind down of its business. This is a necessary step, given Microsoft’s decision, but an unfortunate one. The growth in Keyword usage clearly demonstrates that Keywords are the next generation naming system. Nonetheless, without our key distributor, it does not make sense to keep the business active in its current form.
Thank you for buying and using Keywords. We apologize for the impact Microsoft’s decision will have on your business.
Its kind of pathetic to see a company writhe and squirm, but if you want to hear more, visit one of these sources:
RealNames: Microsoft move shut us down
By Margaret Kane
Special to ZDNet News
May 13, 2002, 10:45 AM PT
RealNames Shuts Down, Blaming Microsoft
May 13, 2002 | ISP News Archives
By Brian Morrissey