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10 famous domains before they were big

In today’s branded world, it is almost impossible to imagine a company that does not own the domain associated with their name or brand. But several of today’s famous domains had a very different use before they were big.

For example, did you know that iCloud.com once was the personal homepage of a Japanese professor?

Minimalistic design – Amazon.it

There is almost one Amazon for every top-level domain today. Amazon.it may not be the most famous of them, but still, it’s Amazon. And before Amazon, there were Molteco.

amazon.it

Is it a brand, is it a country or is it a town? Who knows? What we do know is that Molteco clearly used the approach “less is more” when designing it’s site.

When “Android” was sci-fi – Android.com

There was a time when the word “Android” referred to a robot with a human appearance and not an operating system. At that time,  “Android Creativity” was the company behind Android.com.

Android.com

Anyone that has heard of a smartphone or a tablet can probably guess what Android.com covers today.

Share via  Dropbox Intranet mail – Dropbox.com

Sharing has never been easier, and DropBox is just one of the services you could use to share today. Or you could go back in time and share things via the Dropbox Internet/Intranet mail server.

dropbox.com

If you are to register for the service today, don’t forget to check the “System Requirements”. You may have to install Windows 95 again.

Bright and shining – Goal.com

For all you soccer lovers under the age of 20;  Goal.com did not always give us the latest news:

goal.com

The content may not be that much to look at, but someone had surely learned a thing or two about hexadecimal notation for colors to get that bright and shining background.

I, cloud – iCloud.com

Clouds have, until recently, just been something you would mention when talking about the weather. So a domain like iCloud.com may not have been so hard to come by for professor Insung Jung.

icloud.com

As almost every other i-ish domain (except iPad.com), it leads straight to Apple these days.

A custom created space – Myspace.com

Myspace may not be the biggest social network anymore, but we guess it still has more visitors than this company:

myspace.com

When your business needs “an Internet Web Page”, you now know where not to turn.

Not Microsoft’s Outlook, but Andrew’s – Outlook.com

Going from Hotmail to Outlook? Or maybe to Andrew Seybold’s Outlook.com:

outlook.com

Unfortunately, we too missed the last WDU so we can’t tell you what it was all about.

Anything at all to do with photos? – Photoshop.com

Photoshop has been around for ages, but it has always been an Adobe product, so the photoshop.com domain has not always been its home.

photoshop.com

It may not be the perfect design for a site that has anything to do with photos.

Probably not THE Walmart – Walmart.com

Even in the beginning, walmart.com was about shopping.

walmart.com

But is it really the same Walmart? The “Interesting Links” make us doubtful.

Famous domain for a not so famous cause – iPhone.com

iPhone is known for having revolutionized the mobile phones as we knew them. So what could be further from today’s iPhone.com than this?

iphone.com

We are not trying to spoil a perfectly good protest, but when you publish something on the Internet, it is likely that the ones who read it are “those who have the luxury of owning a computer”.

Other famous domains?

We found these ten examples interesting and funny, and we are sure that if we had kept on looking we had found many more. Do you have any favourites that we did not cover in this article?

Data and screenshots: Amazon.it, Android.com, Dropbox,com, goal.com, iCloud.com, iPhone.com, myspace.com, outlook.com, photoshop.com and walmart.com

Image (top) via Shutterstock.

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