Office Live Challenging Yahoo Small Business

    May 30, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Based on the current rate of registrations taking place, Microsoft’s Office Live service will pass 100,000 registered users during July, at a pace that is almost as fast as Yahoo’s web hosting growth.

The IPWalk domain tracking site reported how the Office Live service from Microsoft has seen a brisk pace of domain name registrations since the site’s debut.

Office Live offers three levels of website services for customers. A free, ad-supported version allows a customer to register a domain name and set up a small website with email addresses at no cost at the Live Basics level.

Free has been a selling point for Microsoft. Yahoo Small Business has been offering discounted prices on the first year of registration for a domain name, for a price of US$2.99. Yahoo and Microsoft both use Melbourne IT for their domain registrations.

The two companies have been competing in earnest for the small business market, especially with the imminent debut of Microsoft’s AdCenter network for advertisers. That service will go head to head with both Yahoo’s Publisher Network and the dominant ad network, Google AdWords.

Microsoft may be catching up to Yahoo already, IPWalk contends:

To put the growth of Office Live into perspective, here is an example. The second week in May, Office Live gained 3,830 domain names, while Yahoo gained 7,780. All Office Live domain names are the result of a new user, while Yahoo also offers domain name registrations to existing users. That means that when it comes to gaining new users, Office Live is closer to Yahoo Small Business than it may seem at first glance.

This growth could increase for Microsoft. IPWalk cited comments from Baris Cetinok, director of product management and marketing for Office Live, who noted the beta of Office Live should be finished by the end of 2006.

At that time, Microsoft will expand availability of Office Live internationally. That should provide a boost to the number of registrations taking place. The number of domains currently registered through Office Live may be viewed at IPWalk’s website.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.