Microsoft Locks Down Office.com, Likely for Office 2010
Microsoft has secured office.com, suggesting that its upcoming Microsoft Office 2010 will debut on a site other than office.microsoft.com. Unlike previous versions of the productivity suite, Office 2010 will have a substantial Web-based component, with Microsoft Live subscribers able to access stripped-down versions of OneNote, Excel, Word and PowerPoint for free online. For businesses, Microsoft also plans on offering Office 2010 as both a hosted subscription service and on-premises solution.Microsoft has secured the Office.com URL, which will presumably become the platform for its upcoming Microsoft Office 2010.
A quick search on Whois.net reveals that Microsoft Corporation was indeed registered as Domain Administrator of office.com as of Aug. 4. The registration expires on April 19, 2019.
According to TechCrunch, the Office.com domain name was previously owned by an anonymous U.S. resident and operated by ContactOffice, a Belgian startup that offers virtual office software. Microsoft has traditionally used office.microsoft.com as its Office URL.
Although Microsoft has declined to give details about the URL acquisition, one can presume that they offered the site's previous owner the equivalent of a dump-truck filled with cash; a single-word URL that reflects on one of the major product lines of the world's largest software corporation would doubtlessly be worth a not-so-small fortune.
In a departure from previous versions of Office, Microsoft Office 2010 will be launched as a free online service for subscribers of Microsoft Live. The cloud-based versions of OneNote, Excel, Word and PowerPoint will lack some of the features available in the full versions.
In addition to the cloud-based version, Microsoft also plans on offering Office 2010 as both a hosted subscription service and an on-premises application, for businesses uncomfortable with porting their proprietary information entirely on the cloud. However, even versions of Office 2010 running as an on-premises application will be accessed through the browser.
Office 2010 constitutes part of Microsoft's massive software refresh, joining Windows 7, Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Server 2008 as part of a new product line that the company hopes will revive its fortunes after a quarter of declining revenues.
The Office 2010 versions of Word, PowerPoint and OneNote will introduce new collaboration elements, allowing users to see what others in their company have done within a document and avoid making conflicting changes. The Web-based version of the productivity suite will also be more accessible through mobile devices, Microsoft claims.