UPDATE: Read latest information on the domain dispute between Microsoft and SpiderWorks Technologies Pvt Ltd.
MyWindowsClub.com was launched in June 2010, on the same day my baby boy was born. From that day, I nurtured this site and took care of it just like my own baby. When I write articles in this site with my baby boy sitting on my lap, I used to tell him "This site is same old as you, but see how fast it is growing". I ate my breakfast, lunch and dinner with My WindowsClub and slept on the office chair many days enjoying the traffic reports at Google Analytics and growth chart at Alexa. After about 20 months of hard work, MyWindowsClub.com is one of the most visited websites that serve the technology community. We received about 80,000 page views per day during the peak traffic last week.
We have been covering a wide range of technologies in this website. I covered many product releases and emerging technology news. I did not sleep few days following the Window 8 Consumer Preview release last week because I was busy working with the Windows 8 and writing articles/blogs promoting Microsoft products. Of course, I had the intention to monetize the traffic, even though I work on Microsoft technologies with passion. I was happy at the great traffic received by MyWindowsClub.com during last few days.
On 2 March 2012, I woke up to see my dreams shattered by a UDRP notice by Microsoft Attorneys.
My immediate reaction was "what the ____" and "I will fight back". But after some thinking, I changed my mind. I have been in great relation with Microsoft for several years and they even appreciated my community efforts by awarding me Microsoft MVP status for several years. Why spoil the relationship at this moment? I decided to explore opportunities to convince Microsoft and continue my business.
UDRP Complaint from Microsoft Corp
Here are the relevant points from the UDRP complaint from Microsoft:
1. The domain name MyWindowsClub is confusingly similar to Microsoft's trademark "Windows".
2. We have no rights or legitimate interests in this domain name. I am not affiliated with Microsoft in any ways and so should not use the name "Windows".
3. The disputed websites rely on search engine traffic and user confusion by using Microsoft trademarks to derive revenue.
4. We offer remuneration to members to contribute content.
5. We use Windows logo to cause confusion.
6. Advertise products or services of parties not affiliated with Microsoft, which include competitor products like Google Chrome and our own software.
7. Prominent and pervasive use of Microsoft trademarks which are likely to lead visitors and search engines to believe the site is affiliated with Microsoft in order to generate advertising revenue or sell our software.
8. Some other domains in which I use the trademark "Windows" are parked domains, which means I am not making use of them. Failure to develop those sites (example: Windows9Laptops.com) demonstrate lack of genuine interest in the domain names.
9. We registered the domain with bad faith and intentionally adopted names to create an association with Microsoft and its products.
10. We have attempted to commercially benefit from the goodwill of Microsoft.
11. We have other domain names containing other famous brands which is further evidence of bad faith pattern of conduct by us.
(Here is an example of such a site: www.GooglePlusTips.com)
(There is a lot more in the documents I received, but I think the above items contain the essence of it).
My Views on complaints from Microsoft
It is true that I chose the name "MyWindowsClub", which include "Windows" - a trademark of Microsoft. However, I have added a word before and after the Windows trade name so that it would look significantly different and will not confuse any users. My Windows Club is my windows to the technology world. Have you read the famous poem 'Tree At My Window' by Robert Frost? The name MyWindowsClub was inspired by this poem.
Some of my sites are developed and promoted around the same technologies it is named after. For example, GooglePlusTips.com is my website in which I write articles on Google+ platform and provide tips to make the best use of it. I have been running SilverlightClub.com last few years without any significant monetary benefits but just to provide a platform for Silverlight application developers to host their Silverlight Apps and monetize it. However, MyWindowsClub is my window to the technology world and I have been covering a wide range of technologies here.
Regarding advertisements and monetization: We use Google AdSense revenue sharing in those sites and members are given 90% of AdSense revenue share from the contributed content pages. Google AdSense is one of the most trusted Ad networks in the world. We believe they do not use any unethical advertising practices. Adverting competitor products like Ads of Google Chrome in MyWindowsClub does not come under "bad faith" use of the site. However, Microsoft attorneys think it is not appropriate to advertise competitor products like Google Chrome in MyWindowsClub.com
I do monetize the website traffic and that is what I do for living, just like hundreds of thousands of other webmasters.
The trademark "Windows" is so popular that no one can be confused that Windows is a product my small company. Everyone who knows Windows OS know it is from Microsoft. I personally believe using the word "Windows" in my domain name with a strong prefix and suffix would not cause any confusion to the users.
I have been a Microsoft MVP for last few years. Each year, I submitted my websites MyWindowsClub.com and SilverlightClub.com to Microsoft as my community achievements. Microsoft recognized my efforts and contribution to the community through my websites by rewarding me the Microsoft MVP award, until it was taken away in January 2012. Microsoft has appreciated and encouraged me with MVP and Community Star awards for my contribution through the technology websites.
Founder & Webmaster - MyWindowsClub.com
Managing Director - SpiderWorks Technologies Pvt Ltd, Kochi, India
UPDATE: Read latest information on the domain dispute between Microsoft and SpiderWorks Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.
Follow Tony John or read 621 articles authored by Tony John
Its really a sad news sir. Is there any chance of changing the domain name or is there any possibility to open a different site and transfer this content over there so that we get the same traffic.
I could change the domain name. But I am not sure if I want to go that route. There are so many other topics we can cover in the internet. Why on earth I waste my time and energy to promote Microsoft products and then suddenly get a notice to close down the site?
Obviously I am running the websites to earn advertising revenue. There is no way I can limit the Ads to Microsoft favoring Ads only.
I am exploring other options and will update here soon. At this time, my heart is broken and can't really choose any alternatives.
Even I feel sad after reading this, as I don't have much knowledge in these sort of issues I can't suggest you anything but I hope you will find the best alternative for this problem.
That is a good idea. I am looking in to that option now.
Few days back, you have given us the example of Amit Bhawani, he has changed its domain name just to make it blog professional. we can also do it in same way. I want that why to waste our hard work of last two years only because of UDRP complaint from Microsoft.
We mywindowsclub as a team can do it again with new domain. Rest Decision is yours. Do not feel Sad, do not let to go this website in hands of Microsoft. Try to develop the house again with new alternatives.
Oh my god! first time ever i got any sad news at MWC. And it hurts too. Why can't we offer some revenue to Microsoft and we can continue it? May be we can be associate or some sort of unit/partner of Microsoft Windows and we can continue?
Yes, I wrote a case study of Amit Bhawani on the impact of domain name change. I think now I have a case for myself.
This is really a sad news.
But sir, I would like to advice you to change the domain name, not because you have no now will to promote microsoft products, but because this site is the result of hardwork of several members including you.
Give a second thought to this, with a calm mind. You said that this site is like your child. Then you must an option, a method to protect your child.
Ofcourse I don't have enough knowledge over this issue, but this only what I could suggest. I have always seen you as my Ideal in online world, and this is the first time I am seeing you sad.
Its unfortunate. I can't imagine the fact that probably I am logging in for the final time in this great Website. I still remember the olden days myself and Abhisek did our best to promote this site and it grown leaps and bounds. Probably the same fact has been caught by Microsoft to takeover the site.
Tony, we are always by your site. Think other alternatives and we are ready to do our best to bring back the glory.
After Getting A notice from Microsoft we leave to each other.I can't imagine the fact that probably I am logging in for the final time in this great Website.I request to Tony sir Please change the path of MWC.
Oh That's pretty Bad News, the same Microsoft for which we wrote the most for Screwed Us . Find and an Alternative Sir
There are several other sites using the name "Windows", but I don't think I can use that as a justification. It will be just like asking a police officer: "When others are driving faster than me, why are you catching only me for speeding?"
Really a bad news for all the users of MyWindowsclub.com . Especially for Chirag and me who totally depended on MWC only. Hope Tony Sir will find a alternate solution for this. Don't know, my Microsoft decided to take a step like this.
Don't worry. This is not the end of everything, but will be a new beginning.
Redirect this domain name to other domain name so you will not lose your traffic.
All of us have done a great job here to solve problems regarding Windows and other Microsoft products. Now if Microsoft is taking over the domain because of similarity in domain name, shouldn't they take over thousands of other domains with similar names?
I think Microsoft officials should think about it again.
No words could substitute my grievances on closing this domain. I am dumbfounded to console you as you have been the brahma of this web (child).
Anyhow, I hope you will take this positively since this is not the end and what all happen is good for our sake. I am confident you will definitely overcome this crucial juncture. We all stay with you to restore the site's aura in an entirely different domain.
Really its a very sad news to MyWindowsClub members. I am an existing member since 9th January, 2012 that means for a few days, but in these two months I become too close with MWC. Really MWC like a family and we are the happy members in this family.
This news made me too upset as we can't keep in touch with each other. I request Tony sir to find out the best alternative way so that our these efforts will not go in vain.
Shift the whole website to another domain.
"Don't worry. This is not the end of everything, but will be a new beginning." - I really liked you words! That's the spirit! We want to see YOU like this always! :)
Now, I know, whatever you'll decide will be the best decision!
Tony .. Dont be sad...I know it is very difficult to let go..but as many of our users here are recommending...change the domain name...make it something else...let this site be running...
Its very bad new..now planning to launch a site on which all windows blogs will be there .....
Thats really sad :(
I saw the situation from your side just for one second and I was like WTF??
Absolute injustice for the utter hard work you have been doing sine its release and all the efforts all the members have given to this site.
I really appreciate your attitude and the way you have taken up the matter..
Also looking forward for your further work and wish you all the very best..
Happy to see the new name "Techulator" and very happy that you decided to keep the site as it is. Not sure what went wrong with Microsoft. It seems they don't like others promoting thier own product!!!!
MyWindowsClub is known as Techulator from now. Many sections are added up in Techulator. Thanks to Tony Sir to take quick action. Now it is necessary to start editing as soon as possible.
it is really a very sad news to know that MyWindowsClub.com is going to close down. But please dont give up and dont feel sad. It is really an utter injustice by Microsoft but nothing can be done but to look for alternative. Now we can develop the new site Techulator. With the help of all the members let us hope this new site will also develop soon. There are so many websites which use the word "Windows" in their name, but why Microsoft wants to take this website only. This is because of the popularity of MWC. Anyway all of us are here to support you for the new site. Wish you all the best.
Why you are not saying the fact that you tried to cash on the popularity of TheWindowsClub.com and trapped ? Shame on you, Tony
I do not know who you are and why you think I am trying to cash on the popularity of TheWindowClub. 97% of the traffic to my site comes from Google and 90% of remaining traffic is from my regular visitors. Whatever traffic and popularity this site achieved is based on what we offer and not from the name. What is in the name of a website? I could say it plays no significant role. Nobody would ever come to this site thinking it is TheWindowsClub, even though it is a popular Windows site. I could agree that the name "Windows" itself plays a role because of the brand name and because of the SEO weightage the word "Windows" carry.
But I can state with 100% confidence that this site did not achieve anything because the name resembles TheWindowsClub. In fact, I chose the name MyWindowsClub after a lot of confusion, discussions and desperate search for domain names. And in fact, I did contact the owner of TheWindowsClub and informed about the domain name I chose.
There are many other sites like MyWindows.com, MeraWindows.com and so on. Why are you not saying I did try to cash in the popularity of those, but you think I tried to follow TheWindowsClub?
I have been running websites for about 12 years. I run several other websites which were not named after any other sites and still get several times higher traffic than this site and the site you mentioned.
Now, when it came to renaming this domain, the first name everyone suggested to me was "MyGeeksClub.com". I even went ahead and booked the domain since that name makes most sense for us to rename to. But later I decided to stay away from that name because there is already a good website in business with a similar name pattern.
So, I just decided to go with a name that does not mean anything and does not disappoint any of my buddies in the webmaster world.
By the way, do you really think I am trapped?
I am new to this website and trust me on this, although I have great respect for Microsoft, I am glad that you have decided to change the sites name,Techulator really sounds way more fun than having to read Microsoft or windows or club etc in the domain name.Techulator is so very catchy and original name and I have liked it so much that I have decided to add the "tech" part in front of my name everywhere.(hope its okay) and its always good for such a great site to have a unique name like this one !
Thanks for the comment and for joining Techulator!