Now, we're not saying that Microsoft's recent purchase of 666,000 old web addresses is a sign of the coming of the Beast. But we're not saying it's not either.
TechFlash reports this morning that the company has paid $7.5 million for the massive stockpile of addresses, and no one seems to know what to do with them.
The addresses are of the nearly extinct IPv4 variety, and while they are certainly hard to come by--having been nearly exhausted through years of overuse--new IPv6 addresses are the new hotness, so it seems perplexing that Microsoft would want to stockpile old ones.
New IPv4 addresses are scarce, as computer and mobile phone use continues to spread worldwide. Internet Protocol addresses are the unique numbers assigned to every computer connected to the internet. The addresses are bundled up in blocks, which are assigned by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
Because available IPv4 space ran out early this year, it is forcing companies like Google to spend to switch over to the next-generation IPv6 protocol.
The Ottawa Business Journal, however, posits that Microsoft is merely saving itself money in the future, when everyone is forced to switch to the IPv6 addresses.
Picking up Nortel's IPv4 addresses allowed Microsoft to obtain hundreds of thousands of unique identifiers without the need of an upgrade, likely saving the Washington-based firm money in the long term.
But of course all this businessy mumbo-jumbo could just be hiding a darker, more sinister truth in that 666,000 web addresses will combine to open a web portal to hell--an option that's really just a lot more awesome to believe.