The New York Times > Technology > E-Commerce Report: A New Direction at Google: "Eileen Rodriguez, a Google spokeswoman, hardly quelled the speculation by explaining that the whole thing was really a learning opportunity for the company. Google 'has become a domain name registrar to learn more about the Internet's domain name system,' she said recently in an e-mail message. 'While we have no plans to register domains at this time, we believe this information can help us increase the quality of our search results.'
Ms. Rodriguez would not say how having registrar status might help Google improve search results. But Bret Fausett, who publishes Lextext.com, a Web log following the domain name industry, and who first disclosed the news that Google had become a registrar, said Google could improve the quality of search results by getting better access to the list of expiring domain names - a list available only to registrars."
Let's see -- Blogger is still one of (if not the) most popular blogging tools, Gmail is apparently ramping up to go beyond "beta," now offering 50 account invitations to current users (LMK if you've been on Planet 10 for a few months and need an invitation), and Google has hired key Firefox developers; one-stop shopping complete with your preferred domain name would certainly be a logical option.