James Iles

Ten Great Domain Names Owned by Microsoft

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By James Iles, Aug 2, 2017
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Technology giant Microsoft has a portfolio of over seventy thousand domain names. Many of these names are defensive registrations for their products, but there are plenty of gems hidden within the portfolio. Over the past few months, Microsoft has sold many names such as Firefly.com, Kin.com and Juice.com, but there are still plenty of great names at Microsoft.

    Thanks to DomainIQ, we were able to take a look at Microsoft’s portfolio and we have chosen ten great domain names from their portfolio.


    GPS.com

    There are 17,576 three-letter .COM domains in existence, but GPS.com has got to be one of the best. The frequently-used acronym for Global Positioning System is commonly used when referring to maps or satellite navigation, with many companies offering GPS devices or services.

    GPS.com was originally owned by Great Plains Software Inc until Microsoft acquired the company in 2000. The GPS.com domain was redirected to several Microsoft web pages over the years, but not a lot was done with the domain. Now the name fails to resolve.


    Surface.com

    This domain name was originally owned by Surface Systems Inc until Microsoft acquired the domain in 2007. Surface Systems Inc moved to SurfaceInc.com and Microsoft got a new one-word domain name for their digital table project.

    In 2012, the digital table was rebranded to Microsoft PixelSense, whilst Microsoft Surface became the name for the company’s line of tablet PCs. Since then, Surface.com has redirected to Microsoft’s sales page for the Surface computer.


    Live.com

    Live.com is one of Microsoft’s most famous domains. According to Alexa, the domain has a global Alexa ranking of sixteen. Before Microsoft acquired the name, it hosted the website for Live Networks Inc, who subsequently moved to Live555.com. From 2005 the domain was the base for Windows Live and Windows Live Mail, a brand that replaced some of Microsoft’s other products including Hotmail.

    As of writing, Live.com is used as a destination for the millions of Microsoft web account owners.


    microsoft.jpg
    Rare.com

    British video game developer Rare was established in 1985 with backing from Nintendo, and subsequently developed games such as GoldenEye 007. In 2002, Microsoft acquired Rare, who subsequently became a first-party developer for Xbox.

    The domain name Rare.com was transferred into Microsoft’s possession, although the company still retains an independent website. Currently, Rare.com is redirecting to Rare.co.uk.


    Zone.com

    Zone.com has been owned by Microsoft since the 90’s as part of MSN’s Gaming Zone. According to a 1999 press release, the Gaming Zone, which was hosted on Zone.com, had more than eight million registered members and 450,000 unique visitors per day.

    The domain doesn’t host its own website anymore, but it does redirect to MSN Games.


    Sites.com

    Until 2010, Sites.com was owned by Abbiss Corp of Ontario, Canada. The content on the site at the time was fairly basic, displaying a simple search function that aimed to give clearer search results than Google. In mid-2010, the domain was acquired by an unknown Markmonitor client. The WHOIS details stayed with the same generic Markmonitor details until May 2017 when the domain moved into Microsoft’s possession.

    The domain name now forwards to a Microsoft Office page for Intranet software and team sites. Interestingly, the singular Site.com is owned by SalesForce.


    Start.com

    The word “start” is often associated with Microsoft since all Windows operating systems since Windows 95 have contained a start button or start menu. It should come as no surprise that Microsoft owns Start.com. In fact, Microsoft has owned Start.com since the late 90’s, where it has largely redirected to their homepage.

    Now, however, no website resolves at all. Could this be the next Microsoft domain name that is sold?


    Jump.com

    There is very little information that we can find on Jump.com. There are no archived copies of any website resolving on the domain and there are no screenshots available for previous pages on the domain. Microsoft has owned the domain since at least 2009, which is the furthest that DomainIQ’s data goes back.

    Regardless of this, it’s a great one-word domain name that isn’t being used at all by Microsoft.


    Office.com

    Although Microsoft Office was first released in November 1990, Microsoft didn’t acquire the Office.com domain until 2009. Before that, it was used by a company called Office.com who subsequently moved to the domain name ContactOffice.com. No details of the domain sale were ever released, but it’s likely to be a seven or eight figure sale since the Office.com domain name was an integral part of the seller’s business.

    Now, Office.com is the homepage for Microsoft Office 365.


    Passport.com

    A 90’s product called Microsoft Passport was originally destined to be a single sign-on service for e-commerce, but this proposition was dropped. In December 1999, Microsoft forgot to pay a $35 renewal fee for Passport.com. This resulted in Hotmail, which used Passport.com to authenticate users, being unavailable on Christmas Eve. The fee was paid to Network Solutions on Christmas Day and the domain was reactivated.

    Passport.com was redesigned as Windows Live and the service is now simply called “Microsoft Account”. As for Passport.com, it redirects to a Bing search page.


    --


    Data from this article is courtesy of DomainIQ's portfolio research tools.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com, domain name investor and broker. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

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  5. Comments (15)

  6. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com NamePros Supporter

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    Incredible portfolio they have
     
  7. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times Business Account VIP

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  8. Kate

    Kate Thinking inside the Box™ VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    And they have more...
     
  9. Bros

    Bros Active Member VIP

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    Live, start and Zone are my favorites. All are great obviously.
     
  10. Alex Domain

    Alex Domain Established Member

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    They're all so good - I cant even imagine which would be worth more.
     
  11. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    Office is the most necessary for this company. Who doesn't think of Microsoft Office when one thinks of Microsoft these days?

    Ok their cloud services are good too, but doubt they own cloud.com ;)
     
  12. 1Darko

    1Darko Established Member

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    Nice names! Thanks for this domain bucket James!:xf.smile:
     
  13. rhakim

    rhakim Established Member

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    Another great article James ....
     
  14. Kingslayer

    Kingslayer Business Member Business Account VIP

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    Wonder how much money's worth is there.

    Probably could retire on 1 of those.
     
  15. ET76

    ET76 Namecozy.com VIP

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    Wow,,, (y)
     
  16. parthasarathy k

    parthasarathy k Market Restricted

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    May be these are known domain names, may be they own more domains like this.
     
  17. tweetsgonewild

    tweetsgonewild Active Member VIP

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    great article but I think it was passport.co.uk and not passport.com that they forgot to renew
     
  18. tweetsgonewild

    tweetsgonewild Active Member VIP

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    oops my bad they forgot to renew hotmail.co.uk in 2003

    and passport.com in 1999
     
  19. siya

    siya Established Member

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    Good article
     
  20. sellbourne

    sellbourne Established Member

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    That's why we call them like Technology company otherwise no point to hold these names :)
     
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