.cloud registrars, requirements and history
The Internet is a fascinating study in almost unimaginably rapid evolution. These days, it seems that almost everything a user does, from jumping on their social network of choice, to banking, to work tasks is done "in the cloud" - that is, remotely over the Internet, as opposed to locally on one's own computer or server farm. It should come as no surprise, then, that a .cloud TLD (Top-Level Domain) is in the works, designed specifically for use with such applications and storage methods.
In that this domain is not yet established (it being still under review), details regarding it in any concrete sense are somewhat sparse. However, it can be expected that the .cloud TLD, in conjunction with the other members of the new batch of Top-Level Domains, will become available for purchase / use sometime in 2013. Thus, the establishment / first-use date for this TLD will be, if all goes according to plan, sometime in 2013 as well.
Similarly, any special technical requirements, usage restrictions, and so on are as yet unknown. It is safe to assume, though, that the "big fish" of the Internet world like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and various other social networks who already make extensive use of cloud-based services, will be heavy users; requirements of registration and / or payment for services with the .cloud domain attached to them is not out of the question.
In addition, domain speculators will likely attempt to grab choice .cloud TLDs in the hopes of big after-market returns / profits.