The number of registered new gTLD applicants has increased to 144, according to ICANN.
It refers to the number of registered users in the TLD Application System, the web-based tool used for filing new gTLD applications.
Each TAS slot can be used to file up to 50 applications; 144 registered TAS users could mean anything from 144 to 7,200 gTLD applications.
I err towards the lower number. Some consultants have told me they open a new account for each application they plan to file, due to some technical limitations in the system.
Most people are expecting a last-minute rush of applications — primarily hold-out dot-brand applicants — shortly before the system closes to new registrants March 29.