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Microsoft becomes master of others' domains

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Microsoft has joined the list of organizations authorized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to sell top-level domain names.

Previously it had relied on Australia-based registrar Melbourne IT for wholesale domain services.

A Microsoft domain service is not guaranteed: Google and Amazon are accredited registrars but do not sell domain names. Instead, Google has used its position to weed out spam domains from search results. And presumably, Microsoft can now do the same for its Microsoft Live search engine.

But ICANN accreditation clears the way for the company to expand the range of services available from its small business-offering, Office Live, expected to exit beta on November 15. Office Live features email and website hosting and tools to track online ad campaigns.

It would be a no brainer for Microsoft to set up a one-stop-shop for businesses going online by also offering domain name registration through Office Live. Accreditation means Microsoft can register .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .name and .pro names.

Melbourne IT had charged a nominal fee to register domain names, a fee that could now go to Microsoft. ®

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