ICANN has just released a new (and presumably last before the application window closes?) version of the Applicant Guidebook (PDF). A summary of changes to the last version is available here (PDF).
- It is still unclear in what order ICANN will process and work on the applications. Only: Applications will be processed in batches, and ICANN will decide later how they will process.
- One single country’s concern about a TLD application will result in a „GAC Early Warning“ process allowing the applicant to either withdraw their application or discuss the concerns with the respective country
- There is no time frame for further application windows after 2012
ICANN has also announced that 25 companies have registered with its TLD Application System (TAS), one week after it opened the application window for the TLD program. However, this number does not necessarily represent the total number of applications since each registrant can apply for up to 50 new generic Top-Level Domains. The application window is open from January 12 and will close April 2012. The deadline for registering in the TAS system is March 29, 2012.
In early May, approximately two weeks after the new gTLD application window closes, ICANN will publish a list of the applications and who has applied for which domain name.