Hobbyist surrenders WindowsXP.nu domain to Microsoft

A Dutch computer enthusiast surrendered the WindowsXP.nu domain name to Microsoft Corp. after the Redmond, Washington, software maker threatened to take legal action.

Steven Bink registered WindowsXP.nu over two years ago and used it to run a popular gossip Web site on Microsoft products. Last month, Bink received a letter from Microsoft's Dutch counsel accusing him of trademark infringement and ordering him to sign over the domain.

Bink handed over the domain amicably on Friday, he said Tuesday. In exchange for the domain name, Bink, the 32-year-old owner of an IT services company in Zoetermeer, Netherlands, has been named Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). Until April 1, the domain will link to http://WinXP.Bink.nu, the new address for the gossip site, Bink said.

Additionally, Microsoft will supply Bink with certain goods and services. Bink declined to detail those, but assured that his site will remain independent.

Bink's site is an important spot for Microsoft beta testers and hobbyists looking for news and gossip about Microsoft products. It logs up to 20,000 page views a day, Bink said. Most of the site's visitors come via the Google search engine, which lists WindowsXP.nu as one of the top results after a search for Windows XP.