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Windows2000.com owner sells domain to Microsoft

Kerstein gets bob.com, 'other considerations' in return

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Windows 2000 was an unexpected name for NT 5, as is seen from Microsoft's failure to check whether the trademark Windows2000 and the domain Windows2000.com might just have been previously claimed before it barged in. As it turned out, the domain was being used, and not by a cybersquatter but by Bob Kerstein of Falls Church, Virginia who has a business trading in stock and bond certificates for collectors (it's called scripophily, apparently). Kerstein, formerly an accountant, has concluded a deal with Microsoft whereby Microsoft gets the trademark and domain name, and Kerstein gets bob.com, which Microsoft had obtained in 1996, at the height of Bob's, well, failure. Kerstein thinks bob.com might be rather easy for people to remember. For Microsoft, 'Bob' is a name it would rather forget. Microsoft has been saying, by way of saving face, that Bob (a social interface in which Mrs Gates had involvement in her Microsoft days) was ahead of his time, but it looks as though he's been dumped for all time now. The Windows2000.com Web site now offers a choice: go to scripophily.com (mirrored at bob.com), or land up at Microsoft's Windows 2000 server home page. For once, it was all resolved amicably -- but Kerstein's not saying how much he received from Microsoft in "other considerations". ®

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