ICANN's loosening up and getting ready to roll out a whole new batch of .whatever generic top-level domains, but Google wanted more. Google was pushing for crazy, dotless domains like http://search. But the dream is over. ICANN just smacked it down.
On Friday, ICANN New gTLD Program Committee decided to confirm and all-out ban on domains without dots in them, so http://whatever is off the table as a functional address option, for now. Ideally, http://search wouldn't have just been a shortcut to Google, but to a space where users could pick their own search engines (i.e. Google) but ICANN wasn't jazzed on the concept, citing technical and security concerns.
And with tons of new TLDs—like .search, .amazon, .онлайн, and .游戏—flooding the Internet in the near future, users are probably going to be weirded out enough. Dropping the dot would be like deciding that sentences don't need verbs anymore.
There's still a chance that ICANN could revisit the idea down the line and change its mind, but for now the decision is a solid "No." One paradigm shift at a time; it's going to be weird enough getting used to .cashbackbonus or whatever. [Domain Name Wire]