Microsoft Has Officially Lost It… A Windows Live Tiles Subdomain That Is

Microsoft’s subdomain for converting Windows Live Tiles RSS to management XML formats is now controlled by a third-party security researcher.

no longer holds an important subdomain that uses to curate RSS-based news and updates for Live Tiles. Known as, the subdomain is now in the control of German researcher Hanno Böck.

animated features for tiles is a nice OS touch that lets updates arrive on the Windows Live Tiles. As the name suggests, the subdomain was a compartment of, which launched alongside .

The service allows website to create and show live updates inside Windows tiles. For example, users could pin a web page directly into the Start menu on (Start Page on Win8).

This was achieved through a meta tag placed by the website through Users would click the website Start menu tile and Windows would interpret the meta data. It would then show notifications from the site within the Live Tile. Of course, this process was virtually instantaneous on the client side.

It was a nice idea in concept, but Windows Live Tiles struggled with the amount of RSS feed formats it had to handle. This is where came into the equation. Microsoft recommended it because it would convert RSS feeds into XML format that was easier for Live Tiles to handle.

New Controller

While this became popular with website developers, Böck says the subdomain no longer functions.

“The host that should deliver the XML files – – only showed an error message from Microsoft's service Azure,” he said. “The host was redirected to a subdomain of Azure. However this subdomain wasn't registered with Azure.”

As the subdomain was inactive, the researcher decided to register it through Azure but is blocking any requests. He has warned Microsoft he won't run the subdomain indefinitely. Once it is free it could be abused by bad actors.

“We won't keep the host registered permanently. There's a decent amount of traffic reaching this host and running up costs,” Böck adds.

“Once we cancel the subdomain a bad actor could register it and abuse it for malicious attacks,” he concluded.