Using a new generic domain name (gTLD) with Office 365

Its been very interesting to me seeing all the changes that are occurring in the domain space, especially with all hundreds of generic top level domains that will be flooding the market this year. I’ve been experimenting with a new gTLD domain name and seeing if its possible to setup in Office 365. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be very good support for the new gTLD domain names currently. I’ve been running into several brick walls. The very first thing you will notice is that you can not add a generic domain name, the field verification requires it to be a domain that ends with .com or similar extension.

Office 365 Small Business Add gTLD domain - Type a domain name that includes .com or a similar extension

Fortunately there is a fairly easy workaround for this issue. Yup, you guessed it. Powershell!! This article gives step by step instructions on how to add a domain to your office 365 account via powershell. Here are the concise steps if you are already used to using Office 365 & Powershell.

  1. Connect to your Office 365 account using the command “connect-msolservice”. (without quotation marks)
  2. Use the “New-MsolDomain” cmdlet to add your domain. Just like this “New-MsolDomain -name example.technology”
    Office 365 add gTLD domain via powershell

Bingo! It works.

Office 365 Add Domain via Powershell Generic Top Level DomainI was even able to verify the domain

Verify gTLD domain in Office 365 Small BusinessThe problem is I’m now stuck on Step 2. Which is the step where you need to “Setup Office 365 and keep your website where it’s hosted today”. It gives an error message that “Sorry, we couldn’t save that. Please try again.”

Grrr.. So I’m still stuck. If anyone has any tips, feel free to comment. Otherwise I’ll update this post once I figure out to continue.

Update 3/3/2014: I’ve discovered that at this point it is not possible to use a generic top level domain with Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium. I upgraded my account to Office 365 Mid Sized Business, and I was able to add, verify, & activate the domain name following the steps above. So in short, if you want to use a new cool domain name, make sure you are using Office 365 Mid Sized Business plan or any of the Enterprise plans.