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Office Live domains spike

Small businesses are fast jumping on the opportunity to have Microsoft host Web sites for them under the week-old Office Live test service, according to statistics revealed by Swedish Internet analytics firm Ipwalk. The company posted a graph on its Web site that shows there are about 4,000 new domains under the beta program since it launched last week. At the time of the launch, Microsoft said more than 100,000 businesses had signed up. "The domain names for Office Live are currently being registered through Melbourne IT, an ICANN-accredited registrar," Ipwalk said. "It will be interesting to see if this cooperation will continue when Office Live is no longer in beta, or if Microsoft plans to become a domain name registrar itself in the future." The Office Live service is targeted at small businesses who will receive e-mail, Web domains, Web site hosting and other services free during the beta.