Microsoft Registers Outlook Domain Names: A Lesson In Protecting Your Brand

Microsoft recently launched Outlook.com as a new online email service, to rival Google’s Gmail. Hotmail.com will be replaced by Outlook.com. On the same day that Microsoft rebooted Outlook.com, they registered a whole slew of similar domain names–in a move that looks like it’s mainly to protect the Outlook brand.

By looking at the list of domain names that Microsoft recently registered, we can learn their domain name strategy to protect the Outlook.com brand. We can also speculate on some of their future plans regarding Skype and Outlook and the possible future relationship between the two.

Here is the list of domain names that Microsoft registered, related to the new Outlook.com:
1outlook.com
adminoutlook.com
hotmailoutlook.com
messengeroutlook.com
newmicrosoftoutlook.com
outlookhotmail.com
outlookj.com
outlookm.com
outlookn.com
outlooku.com
readoutlook.com
skydriveoutlook.com
skypeoutlook.com
theoutlookmail.com
thoutlook.com
wwoutlook.com

To protect your brand online, and your main domain name, you would want to own the typos of your domain name. So, I would expect that Microsoft would own the domains that people might typically mistype when trying to go to Outlook.com. They registered the domain that includes letters that are next to the letter K on the keyboard–outlookj.com, outlookm.com, outlookn.com, and outlooku.com. If you want to protect your brand, you may consider looking at your domain name and registering domains that include the characters that are found close to the name on the keyboard.

Another typical “typo” of a domain name includes the www subdomain of your domain name. So, wwwoutlook.com is a good move by Microsoft.

By looking at the list of Outlook domain names registered by Microsoft, we can speculate on future plans–like including Microsoft’s Skydrive and Skype as a part of the new Outlook.com.