Lindows today renamed its desktop Linux operating system, LindowsOS, to Linspire. The Web site lindows.com also has been replaced by linspire.com, which will now be the primary site for consumers who are looking for information, want to purchase Lindows products or are seeking support for previously purchased software.
“We have partnerships with hard disk, motherboard, laptop and desktop companies that want to ship our software to their worldwide market,” said Michael Robertson, CEO of Lindows, alluding to the problems the Lindows product name has caused for the company in some international markets as a result of Microsoft’s lawsuits to stop the name’s use.
In a statement to the press, Robertson talked about the rationale for the name change. “Last week, Lindows won in French courts when Microsoft was denied a preliminary injunction,” he said. “Despite our victories in the United States and overseas, a name change is still necessary to counter Microsoft’s strategy to sue us in courts around the world.”
Lindows-Windows Case Continues
The two-year-old case between Lindows and Microsoft over the trademark “windows” will continue in the United States. Microsoft has appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the case is pending a decision as to whether the Appeals Court will hear Microsoft’s appeal.
The name Lindows still will be used in the United States in certain instances and as the corporate name.
“We’re hoping that this puts a halt on the international lawsuits,” said Robertson. “A Microsoft spokesperson has publicly stated that, ‘We’re only asking that Lindows change their name,’ which is what we have done.”
Linspire is similar in features and capabilities to LindowsOS but will have Linspire branding throughout. Current users of LindowsOS will not be affected, and an upgrade is not required.
Account Shifts with Name Change
The my.lindows.com accounts of LindowsOS users now will be available at my.linspire.com, including CD downloads, account information and other resources. Current Lindows Warehouse members have the option of downloading and installing Linspire from their my.linspire account at no cost.
OEMs and resellers selling LindowsOS products can continue to ship existing inventory. Within two weeks, according to the company, the software line will be available with Linspire-branded products, including Linspire Laptop Edition, Linspire Developer Edition and Spanish-language Linspire.
Going forward, linspire.com will offer information about Linspire software and will process purchases, while all corporate information about Lindows will be available at Lindowsinc.com.
Microsoft and the Market
Harvard Research Group vice president of Linux strategy Bill Claybrook recently told LinuxInsider that Microsoft may have more to fear from Linux vendors Red Hat and Novell-SuSE making inroads into the desktop market than from Lindows. He told LinuxInsider that Lindows picked a fight with Microsoft and got it.
Claybrook called Lindows an alternative that Microsoft doesn’t like. “They’re mainly a thorn in Microsoft’s side because Microsoft wants to rule everything,” he said.
Lindows president and COO Kevin Carmony told LinuxInsider in a recent interview that whereas Red Hat sells Linux for servers and Novell-SuSE specializes in enterprise Linux, Lindows will focus squarely on Linux for the desktop.
When asked about Microsoft’s next-generation Longhorn operating system, Carmony predicted Linux will have an edge by the time it is released.
“We won’t see Longhorn until 2005 at the earliest,” he told LinuxInsider. “By that time, I really believe desktop Linux will have the advantage when you take cost, stability and security into account.”