ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has acquired a new Web site address - www.iso.org - which gives access to information on more than 13 400 International Standards for business, government and society.
iso.org will eventually replace the currently used iso.ch in ISO's Web location and e-mail addresses. However, in order to ensure a smooth transition, both iso.org and iso.ch will function in parallel in ISO's Web and e-mail addresses for an indefinite period. ISO will gradually replace iso.ch by iso.org in its electronic and paper documents.
The ".org" suffix, denoting "organization", is one of several generic ones used in Internet and Web addresses - or "domain names" as they are known. Other examples include ".com", denoting a company, ".edu" denoting an educational establishment, ".int" denoting a governmental international organization (ISO is a non-governmental international organization).
The ".ch" suffix which ISO has used up to now is drawn from the ISO standard for country codes (ISO 3166-1:1997 ); "ch" is the standardized abbreviation to denote Switzerland, where the ISO Central Secretariat is located ("ch" derives from Confédération Helvétique - the Helvetic Confederation - the alternative name for Switzerland).
Experience revealed that potential visitors to ISO's Web site, especially members of the general public who may not be so familiar with the organization, search for it using a generic domain name such as iso.org or iso.com, rather than by the domain name built around the country code for Switzerland. As several of these generic domain names are owned by other organizations, ISO has been taking steps to acquire at least one - culminating in the transfer to the organization of the domain "iso.org".