We speculated about this when we first reported on Microsoft’s recent announcements regarding its software-in-the-cloud strategy, and now it’s official: istartedsomething and Download Squad have confirmed that the domain name office.com is now a property of the Redmond software behemoth, based on a simple WHOIS query.
Guess where Office Web (or whatever it’ll be called) be hosted soon?
While both istartedsomething and Download Squad report that the domain name was owned by Belgian startup ContactOffice before the transfer, the truth is that the domain name was owned by a U.S. resident and simply operated by ContactOffice, which markets virtual office solutions, under a revenue-share agreement. (I know this because I used to consult for ContactOffice, full disclosure).
No word about how much the former owner fetched for the attractive domain name, but I know for a fact he had been holding on to that one for a long time now, so likely the man is smiling all the way to the bank right now.
Most certainly a direct response to Google Apps, Microsoft is rolling out lightweight, FREE, Web browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. All based in the cloud, the web-based versions of these products have fewer features than their desktop cousins but still give users basic tools to edit and change documents.
(Image via istartedsomething)