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RealNames is the company that attempted to usurp DNS by embedding their keyword mapping tool into Microsoft Internet Explorer, and of course selling those keywords (as does AOL) to unfortunate web site owners who couldn’t afford the prices EJW wanted to charge them for their company domain name.

Although Microsoft of course screws over lots of companies, RealNames was screwed from the start. By intentionally ignoring most of the rest of the browser market, and mistakenly thinking that their formula somehow mimicked AOL’s recipe for success, they consistently failed to see their own failure to, well, have any sort of sustainable business model.

I like the link to RealNames founder Keith Teare’s WebLog where he slams Microsoft for “backward progress” and then carefully instructs readers how to edit their LMHOSTS text files to fool MSIE into searching RealNames servers. Sounds like he understands backward progress really well..