The .com Internet domain name celebrates its 25th anniversary today, and despite some rather sluggish early years the Web address has turned into a strapping young suffix indeed. A Cambridge, Mass., tech firm snatched up the first dotcom address in 1985, and was joined by just 5 other companies in the first year. But the Internet boom of the late '90s really got the train rolling, and there are 80 million active addresses today.
Instead of 6 registrations a year, the BBC reports, there are now 668,000 a month. Not bad for a neologism that many people didn’t even understand for the first 10 years or so it was in existence. The millionth domain wasn’t registered until 1997. “This birthday is really significant,” says the CEO of Verisign, which watches over dotcoms. “What we are celebrating here is the Internet and dotcom is a good, well-known placeholder for the rest of the Internet.”