My personal opinion is no, .COM and .COM.AU TLD’s (Top Level Domains) are not dead by a long shot.
However, there are many prominent organistaions out there suggesting that they are going the way of the dinosaur and are dead and buried.
There are a whole raft of new TLD’s now available. For example, .SYDNEY, .MARKET, .DENTIST, .PROPERTY and the list goes on. As a consequence, there has been a concerted push by those selling these new TLD’s to encourage their take-up.
From where I sit, 30 years on from the introduction of the first domain using .COM, it has taken this long for consumers and businesses to get their heads around using and understanding other TLD’s like .NET and .ORG, never mind newer ones like .TV or .BIZ, which I have to say, not one of my customers have opted for.
Is there a benefit in using one of the new TLD’s?
Having said that, I can see the new TLD’s gradually becoming more prominent in the minds of those starting new businesses and looking to take advantage of a Domain Name that was previously unavailable. As an example, there may be a domain registered like www.mydomain.com, and it is therefore not available to a new business. But what if you could register www.mydomain.sydney? Now that would be attractive to a business that has the same name as someone else and is also based in Sydney, because it immediately shows where they are based, and there would be definite SEO advantages having that keyword in the Domain.
But for the meantime, I cannot see people moving away from the good old .COM or .COM.AU any time soon.
You may also be interested in reading Should I use Domain Name email instead of using my ISP assigned email address?