Effective May 13, 2002, RealNames Corporation ceased normal business operations. Eighty-three employees have been terminated as the company begins an orderly wind down. During the wind down process, RealNames will be liquidating its assets and making every effort to maximize their value for the benefit of its creditors and shareholders.
RealNames' Keywords work in the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser pursuant to an agreement the two companies reached in March 2000. Microsoft has chosen not to renew its distribution contract, which ends on June 30, 2002, with RealNames. On June 30th, the Keyword service will no longer be available.
"RealNames has posted three consecutive quarters of revenue growth and reached positive cash flow in the first quarter of 2002, a significant milestone for any private company. Our performance also demonstrates that Keywords will extend naming beyond domain names," said Keith Teare, RealNames' Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "In fact, Keywords were used more than 500 million times last quarter around the world - ten times growth over two years. The Chinese and Japanese Keyword systems - which allow native language web addressing - depend on RealNames technology.
"Despite our success, taking the step to shut down the company has become necessary," continued Teare. "Microsoft's decision not to renew our distribution contract makes maintaining the company untenable. The growth in Keyword usage as well as the business success of RealNames clearly demonstrates that Keywords are the next generation naming system. Without our key distributor, it does not make sense to keep the business active in its current form."
"RealNames technology has been broadly recognized, and forms the core of a very strong set of intellectual property assets, including patents, for which we are actively seeking buyers," said Teare. "The IETF just announced that it will issue an RFC on the Common Name Resolution Protocol, a technology central to the new naming architecture demanded by the Internet."
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