SEATTLE (Reuters) - In the end, it paid to be Mike Rowe.
The 17-year-old Canadian teenager who caught the attention of Microsoft Corp.'s lawyers by registering www.mikerowesoft.com,
agreed Friday to give up his Web site in exchange from some perks from the world's largest software maker.
"We believe he's a bright young man with great potential," Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said, reading from a prepared statement. "Mike will soon decide on his new name and Web site and we have agreed to help redirect any traffic to his new Web site to ensure he does not lose any business."
In exchange, Microsoft will pay for Rowe's expenses, the cost of switching over to a new site, provide training for certification on Microsoft's products, a subscription to Microsoft's developer program Web site, and an Xbox video game console with games, as well as an invitation to bring his parents along for a visit to Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters for an annual technology fair.
The catchy Internet address, which the company felt sounded too similar to "Microsoft" to leave in the hands of the budding Web designer, will eventually stop redirecting traffic, Desler said.
Rowe, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia, more than 50 miles (80 kms) northwest of Redmond, could not immediately be reached for comment.
"All along I just wanted to prove a point that the small guy can win against the giant corporations," Rowe wrote on his his Web site earlier this week.
Microsoft initially took a hard line against the Canadian teenager, offering to pay him only $10 for the incidental cost of giving up his site instead of the $10,000 that he had he demanded.
Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service