July 5, 2012
Microsoft Buys Xbox8.com And The World Starts To Wonder
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
When Microsoft took the stage at this year´s E3 conference in Los Angeles, each of their announcements had one thing in common: The Xbox 360. From SmartGlass to their Live TV and Voice Search options, the Xbox 360 is the center point in many of Microsoft´s upcoming entertainment advances. Despite this, many around the net are starting to wonder if some purchases by Microsoft mean a new, Xbox 8 is somewhere around the corner.
Fusible.com has pointed out that Microsoft recently won 2 disputes with the National Arbitration Forum over a pair of Xbox-themed domains which were previously owned by someone in China named “Cheng Juan.”
Microsoft now owns the rights to the domains XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, XboxCompanion.com, Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org.
Microsoft filed these complaints in May and were handed over to Redmond in late June after 2 separate panels at the National Arbitration Forum ruled that Mr. Juan had no rights to the domains and were using them in “bad faith.”
While Microsoft now owns rights to these domains and could employ them however they see fit, it´s likely the company simply wanted to cover their bases and gain control of any domain with any mention to their products. When compared with the other domains Microsoft got the rights to use, Xbox8.com seems more like a “just in case” move rather than a “Here´s what our next product will be named” nod. After all, while Microsoft isn´t planning to release a new Xbox anytime this year, they are planning on releasing a new version of their Windows operating system, entitled “Windows 8.” Perhaps Xbox8.com is just a bad slurry of 2 of Microsofts IPs?
Besides, when the new Xbox is released, it´s widely expected to be called the Xbox 720 rather than the Xbox 8.
As CNN remembers, a 56-page document was leaked last month wherein plans for a “Xbox720” were detailed. The new Xbox 720 was also said to work closely with both the new Microsoft SmartGlass and the Kinect hardware.
Speaking to Kotaku.com, a Microsoft spokesperson has said of the acquisition, "Microsoft often acquires various domain names as part of its ongoing business strategy, but beyond that we have no comment."
Of course, Microsoft is hardly the first company to try and protect their brand and their IP by purchasing a wide array of domain name rights. Furthermore, this is hardly the first time such an acquisition has sparked rumors of new and upcoming products. Anytime Apple buys rights to a domain name (or files a patent, for that matter) the net becomes a´flutter with wild speculation about a new product. In recent months, Apple has won rights to both iPad3.com and iPhone5.com.
While Apple has likely missed their chance to use iPad3.com, many still speculated that iPhone5.com could prove useful for the Cupertino company.
If Apple or Microsoft intended to use either iPhone5.com or Xbox8.com, it´s likely they would take greater pains to keep these acquisitions quiet rather than allow them to be broadcast like they´ve been.