CyberTech Rambler

April 11, 2006

Microsoft giving free domain name!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:54 pm

Well, it is actually an implementation loophole for Microsoft's offer of a free domain name if you sign up to Office Live Beta. At least one person claims to have successfully got a free domain free of Microsoft's control.

In short, Microsoft offers you a free domain name if you sign up for Office Live Beta. They were not incompetent and did indeed "lock" your free domain name with them. The lock is a nameserver lock. In layman's term, Microsoft is trying to force you to use their servers for that free domain name. This lock looks robust but however, it does not stop a determined person who is prepared to go through the loop to undo the lock. The weakness in the "lock", is that they name the signer as the domain name owner. This means you have full control over domain name. Microsoft is simply acting as your agent when they "lock" the domain. Therefore, you have the right, as the domain name owner, to tell their domain name registrar to transfer full control of the domain name to you. Guess what? This include undoing the "lock" and reapplying the lock to "lock" Microsoft out from re-"locking" it.

Does Microsoft knows about this loophole? Perhaps not but I think they do. It is very posssible that they are prepared to give you the domain name. Certainly, they do not like this idea so the "lock" is there to make  it slightly difficult for you to get it. At most I think, 0.01% of the total signup population will do it. It is not worth stopping them from doing so from a cost viewpoint. 

I think Microsoft will close the loophole soon. The solution is simple: Make Microsoft the owner of the domain name and instead sign a contract with you saying that you have to have what-so-ever services runned by Microsoft.

A Philosophical Question: Is it ethical to get a free domain name this way, especially if you do not plan to use Office Live at all? I tend to say it is leaning slightly towards unethical behaviour but my final anwse is No. There is no obligation to use Office Live when you sign up for a free domain name, if there were, it will form part of the terms and conditions. Moreover, part of the purpose for this promotion is to advertise Office Live, or at least get people to notice it. Having people publicize how to get a free domain name from Microsoft is indeed, an advertiser dreams because it generated more buzz and get more people to notice Office Live. It did caught my attention, didn't it?


1 Comment »

  1. still doing that?


    Comment by betterworldforus — April 2, 2009 @ 5:45 am | Reply

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