If you 'whois microsoft.com', you get a whole bunch of listings from pranksters who thought it would be funny to mess with the listings by putting 'microsoft.com' in their subdomains.
The output instructs:
To single out one record, look it up with "xxx", where xxx is one of the of the records displayed above. If the records are the same, look them up with "=xxx" to receive a full display for each record.
But this does not work as far as I can tell.
david:~$ whois '"microsoft.com"' whois: com".whois-servers.net: nodename nor servname provided, or not known david:~$ whois =microsoft.com (...blah, blah, blah...) No match for =MICROSOFT.COM david:~$ whois '"=microsoft.com"' whois: com".whois-servers.net: nodename nor servname provided, or not known
So how do you do it?
I know I can go to a web site to look it up, but that's not the point.