As Microsoft’s suite of cloud offerings has grown over the years, so has the various domains and URLs to access all their services. Depending on what online service you’re using, the website URL and domain could be at office.com, live.com, windows.com, ondrive.com, sharepoint.com, office365.com, microsoft.com, or one of several others. It’s a mess (especially if you’re trying to maintain an official list of Microsoft domains on your network). Microsoft knows it’s a mess, and they’re trying to change it.
Microsoft has created the .microsoft TLD and plans on putting all their cloud services under one domain: cloud.microsoft. So their services will all eventually be under that umbrella and have URLs like outlook.cloud.microsoft, status.cloud.microsoft, loop.cloud.microsoft, onedrive.cloud.microsoft, teams.cloud.microsoft, sway.cloud.microsoft and viva.cloud.microsoft
Their long-term goal of this is to make it so that only authenticated, user-facing product experiences will be hosted on cloud.microsoft. This will make authentication easier, reduce sign-in prompts (which can happen when you jump between domains), and it will make administration easier for folks who setup allow and block lists to just allow a singular domain instead.
Initially this will only be for new products in Microsoft’s toolkit, but expect it to eventually roll out across the board.
In most cases, no customer action will be needed as things should just work. Also of note that while .cloud.microsoft will be the face of M365 going forward, Microsoft.com will continue to exist and eventually serve the purpose of hosting non-product experiences likely dealing with marketing, support, retail, etc… .
Images courtesy Microsoft.