Another new service from Google. Could more "business" services be on the horizon? Word from several sources that Big G is now an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar. Google will be able to register domain names in seven top-level domains (TLDs) including .com, .net, .org, .biz., info, .name and .pro.
Yahoo has offered domain name registration since May 2000 (in conjunction with Network Solutions) and currently charges $4.98/year to register a domain for one year. Yahoo also offers web-site hosting via their Yahoo! Small Business.
The Netcraft article: Google Is Now A Domain Registrar, offers more details and speculates that Google might be considering a domain name registration/web hosting service for Blogger users.
UPDATE: An article from The Register includes a comment from Google as to why they became a registrar.
The reason it paid a $2,500 application fee and $6,500 to cover six top-level domains is that it "wants to get a better understanding of the domain name system [and so] increase the quality of our search results". The email address it gives with relation to its new registrar status is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article also mentions that Google has no plans "at the moment" to begin selling domains.
We also have discussion going in our forums here: Google becomes Domain Name Registrar.