On October 17, Jamie Zoch of DotWeekly.com wrote this about the Sprout.com domain name:
“Something is up with the domain. It was owned by Sprout Software of Boston and the domain was registered with Pairnic but has moved to the domain name registrar MarkMonitor and put under generic whois data. The domain currently does not resolve… so it may have been purchased by somebody.”
Jamie was onto something, as many technology news publications are reporting that HP launched a new computer product called Sprout. Although HP seems content using the Sprout.HP.com subdomain for its product landing page, it appears that HP likely acquired the Sprout.com domain name prior to the announcement about the new product. Sprout.com is currently being used as a forwarder to Sprout.HP.com. The Whois record shows DNStination Inc. as the registrant of the domain name.
I looked at Screenshots.com and Archive.org, and it doesn’t look like the Sprout.com was publicly used for much other than providing a contact email address and a tiny bit of information about that company. There may have been other pages used that I did not notice. I couldn’t find a new website for this Sprout Software company.
I wouldn’t even take a guess about what HP paid for this domain name, but I would presume it was an expensive acquisition. There are many companies called Sprout or that have “Sprout” in their business name, and owning Sprout.com was likely of interest to many companies over the years.
It remains to be seen whether HP will continue to use Sprout.com as a forwarder or if the brand website will eventually be migrated to the Sprout.com domain name. Whatever the case may be, securing the domain name prior to launching the product was a smart move.
Kudos to DotWeekly for noticing the Whois change.