The address would seem to make for a logical home for the forthcoming Web-based version of Office, though Microsoft declined to say how it plans to use the address.
"At this point it's too early to share details on our plans around www.office.com," a Microsoft representative said on Thursday. Microsoft launched a technical preview of Office 2010 last month, but the Web-based versions aren't slated to start public testing until later this year. Microsoft has said that the browser-based Office Web Applications will be a free part of the Windows Live service and will work with Safari and Firefox, in addition to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
As for Office.com, Microsoft appears to have acquired the domain from ContactOffice, which has its own Web-based suite of tools. As of Thursday morning, a message on the Office.com site warns users that they are being moved to the ContactOffice.com domain.
"As 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," reads the current message on the site. "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."
Microsoft declined to offer any details about its acquisition of the Office.com domain. A representative of ContactOffice did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Update: Robin Wauters at TechCrunch notes that the Office.com site wasn't owned by ContactOffice itself, but operated under a revenue-sharing agreement with the U.S.-based owner of the site.