I read a post on DNForum today, and it appears that Microsoft may have dropped two product domain names. According to DomainTools, there is currently “no match” in the Whois database for OfficeXP.com and Windows98.com is currently registered to “BackorderZone.com, LLC.”
Using the Whois history tool, I was able to see that Microsoft owned both domain names at one point in time. In 2011, Microsoft was the registrant of Windows98.com, and it was registered at Melbourne IT with an expiration date of March 2012. In 2011, Microsoft was the registrant of OfficeXP.com, which was also registered at Melbourne IT with an expiration date of March 2012.
According to the aforementioned DNForum thread, these domain names were reportedly available for backordering within the past few days. I am not sure what registrar caught the names and/or if they are currently pending auction at a platform like NameJet or SnapNames.
This is certainly a case where any buyer/bidder needs to proceed with caution (to say the least). Microsoft does appear to have live trademarks for both Office XP and Windows 98. The company has been known to aggressively protect its trademarks as well.
I don’t really understand why these names wouldn’t be renewed and forwarded to Microsoft’s home page.