I read a post on DNForum today, and it appears that Microsoft may have dropped two product domain names. According to DomainTools, there is currently “no match” in the Whois database for OfficeXP.com and Windows98.com is currently registered to “BackorderZone.com, LLC.”
Using the Whois history tool, I was able to see that Microsoft owned both domain names at one point in time. In 2011, Microsoft was the registrant of Windows98.com, and it was registered at Melbourne IT with an expiration date of March 2012. In 2011, Microsoft was the registrant of OfficeXP.com, which was also registered at Melbourne IT with an expiration date of March 2012.
According to the aforementioned DNForum thread, these domain names were reportedly available for backordering within the past few days. I am not sure what registrar caught the names and/or if they are currently pending auction at a platform like NameJet or SnapNames.
This is certainly a case where any buyer/bidder needs to proceed with caution (to say the least). Microsoft does appear to have live trademarks for both Office XP and Windows 98. The company has been known to aggressively protect its trademarks as well.
I don’t really understand why these names wouldn’t be renewed and forwarded to Microsoft’s home page.
I had been using the Whois Monitor tool at DomainTools to monitor the status of two similar domain names owned by the same company. The names were geographic Hotel.com and Hotels.com domain names. During the past couple of years, the status on both changed twice, and I received an update each time.
On May 20th, I received an email from DomainTools informing me that the domain names were both in pending delete status. I immediately went to NameJet and backordered both of them. The next day, I received an email from NameJet informing me that I had won the Hotel.com name for $59. I really wanted the pair, and if I had to choose Hotel.com or Hotels.com, I would have chosen the later.
I did a quick Whois search and saw that the Hotels.com name had been caught by another registrar but hadn’t been updated with a registrant yet. I went over to Snapnames and saw that it was available to bid on for $19, and the auction would end in just under two days. While I generally wait for the last minute to bid, I didn’t want to forget, so I placed my backorder.
A day and a half later, I received a confirmation from SnapNames informing me that I won the auction for $19.00.
I was willing to pay more for the names, but in the end, I am pretty happy SnapNames was able to catch this drop for me, saving $40. Now I just have to wait for the 60 day registration period on these pending delete purchases to find a buyer.