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Microsoft Should Avoid Branding Issue for Office Web Version

Microsoft's Office.com Now Live

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Update: Office.com is now live under Microsoft’s operation.

Original Article: Microsoft is reportedly now the owner of the domain Office.com. This could be a key component of Microsoft staying competitive with Google as they amp up their quest to get businesses and consumers to use Google Apps.

One can only assume that Microsoft’s cloud-based version of Microsoft Office will be residing at Office.com. This is only speculation, mind you.

The previous owner (or "operator" rather, according to Robin Wauters) of Office.com was ContactOffice. At Office.com currently, there is a letter from them to Office.com users explaining what will happen (or has happened rather) in the transition period:

Dear Office.com Users,

Office.comAs you know from the recent email we sent you, we will be transitioning the operation of your Virtual Office account to ContactOffice.com during the next 30 days. 

As part of this transition, on Monday, June 29, 2009, we changed email addresses in the office.com domain to ones in the contactoffice.com domain.

To access your existing account, you will now need to log in at http://office.contactoffice.com

As of Friday, July 31, 2009, Office.com will no longer be available so please be sure to bookmark this URL for future use….

It’s going to be a heated battle between Microsoft and Google. Clearly they are going for each other’s throats more aggressively than ever these days. Microsoft launched Bing. Google announced the Chrome Operating System. Now Google’s really pushing Google Apps, and Microsoft’s presumably got a real domain for its web version of Office that will directly compete with Google Apps.

If you ask me, branding was the biggest problem Microsoft has had in the past in competing with Google in the search market. With Bing, they seem to be making some headway (although they have a long way to go. Too much damage may have already been done at this point). By getting Office.com, at least they won’t have to worry about any brand issues with that product. Office is already a well-established brand. Of course, this is again, only speculation that this is what Microsoft will do with the domain.

Microsoft Should Avoid Branding Issue for Office Web Version
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