The transition of this valuable domain from its previous owners ContactOffice Group – an European company specializing in virtual office solutions since the late 90s – to Microsoft seemed to have occurred on August 4 2009 as the domain’s Whois record notes.
[whois.markmonitor.com] Registrant: Domain Administrator Microsoft Corporation One Microsoft Way Redmond WA 98052 US firstname.lastname@example.org +1.4258828080 Fax: +1.4259367329 Domain Name: office.com Created on..............: 1999-04-19. Expires on..............: 2019-04-19. Record last updated on..: 2009-08-04.
One would be wise to assume Microsoft paid quite a pretty penny for this rare single-noun and vowels-intact domain that now make its Office Web application suite far more convenient to remember and access. The current Office URL, http://office.microsoft.com, never quite rolled off the tongue.
Now’s a good time as any to start F5-ing the site for updates.
Update: Robin Wauters from TechCrunch corrects a minor detail that the ContactOffice Group didn’t actually own the domain per se, but licensed it from a third-party under a sharing agreement.