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418 comments

Little guys can't fight a giant... (3, Insightful)

mindless4210 (768563) | about 10 years ago | (#8861166)

That left the way open for Microsoft to chase the company all over the world's courts and effectively knock it out of business with huge legal costs.

This sheds some light on the real reason that they changed their name. I doubt there's a single company that could handle being dragged through the world's courts by Microsoft, let alone a small one like them.

This led to the daft situation where Lindows renamed itself Lin---s, complete with new website. Microsoft, unbowed, then incredibly claimed that Lin---s was its trademark as well.

This one just makes me say wow... Microsoft actually thingks they can claim the rights to "Lin---s"? Talk about power hungry.

Also, if they have changed their name and everything, then why does www.linspire.com [linspire.com] have "LindowsOS" plastered all over the place? I guess it will take them a while to implement the actual name change.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (3, Funny)

Almond Tree (741341) | about 10 years ago | (#8861182)

I get it. It's like perspire ... only with Linux, right?

Or conspire (1)

Carl T (749426) | about 10 years ago | (#8861282)

...but I must say I thought "perspire" was funnier.

<silly amount=overly>But... there's no "L" in "spire"! Thele is if you'le speaking Engrish.</silly>

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (4, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | about 10 years ago | (#8861217)

"Microsoft actually thingks they can claim the rights to "Lin---s"? Talk about power hungry."

Well, they probably don't think they can claim the rights to it so much as they think their lawyers can beat up Lindows' lawyers. And Lindows seems to agree. Yay capitalism, where even the law is privatized.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | about 10 years ago | (#8861424)

It's not all that bad for Lindows..... For a long time people will continue to refer to their product as Lindows and they've gotten a lot of press!

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (0)

TechniMyoko (670009) | about 10 years ago | (#8861445)

No, they didnt think they owned Lin---s. They own Windows. and Lindash acting like the 3 year old sister copying your art and adding 1 hair to say its different, simply changed it while still advertising --- means dow.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (4, Insightful)

Liselle (684663) | about 10 years ago | (#8861218)

Well, the name "Lin---s" was kind of obviously flipping off Microsoft, especially since they had a poorly-drawn hangman on the website for it with every letter crossed out except "D", "O" and "W". I mean, come on. Michael Robertson is good at criticizing Microsoft and pissing in their Cheerios, but he's not good at coming up with with clever names, I guess (I'm not going to go for the obvious parallel). I think he just should have taken absurdity to its ultimate edge and called the damn thing Linfox.

I was one of the people who said that you couldn't possibly come up with a more asinine name than "Lindows". Here we all are, eating our words. ;)

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861330)

I'd say Lindows and Linspire is much more clever than Microsoft Word or Microsoft Windows.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (3, Funny)

Otter (3800) | about 10 years ago | (#8861369)

I mean, come on. Michael Robertson is good at criticizing Microsoft and pissing in their Cheerios, but he's not good at coming up with with clever names...

Well, he's good at getting his competitors' legal departments to give him free publicity, but less good at turning that free publicity into an ongoing business. He'll be selling Hoca-Cola or Burger Monarch by next year.

Uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861227)

I guess Linus is going to have to change his name!

Microsoft will go after his ass for having a name that looks like Lin---s!

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861312)

> I doubt there's a single company that could handle being dragged through the world's courts by Microsoft,

It was a PR Stunt from the very beginning. If they were really scared of MS' Legal Dept, they would have never picked "Lindows" in the beginning.

And since they made the slashdot frontpage again, their plan is working great.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (4, Interesting)

somethinghollow (530478) | about 10 years ago | (#8861313)

I think Microsoft's reasoning was "---" stood for "dow", which was still, somehow, theirs.

I guess in that case, bleeping out cusswords or saying f--k is the same as just saying / writing them. The FCC should take note of the case to further censor the public.

As far as Lindows Inc., they apparently are going to keep the company name. With M$'s reasoning, I'm surprised they aren't trying to convince people that Lindows really means Microsoft and they should change their name to nothing, since all names really mean Microsoft. I'm getting images of that scene in Being John Malkovich...

No. Lindows was a STUPID name. (4, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | about 10 years ago | (#8861365)

And it is blindingly obvious that it was chosen to draw fire from Microsoft. Maybe not to the hard-core unix geeks still wishing people think of X Window System when they hear "windows," but to anyone else.

So, as expected, Microsoft played its part in this little Kabuki drama, and Lindows aka Linspire got its free publicity. And bully for them, I guess. But to suggest that they picked the name for any other reason is sheer folly.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (5, Funny)

rfrenzob (163001) | about 10 years ago | (#8861366)

>This led to the daft situation where Lindows renamed itself Lin---s, complete with new website. Microsoft, unbowed, then incredibly claimed that Lin---s was its trademark as well.

>This one just makes me say wow... Microsoft actually thingks they can claim the rights to "Lin---s"? Talk about power hungry.

The name still infringes on Microsofts rights. Notice that there are common characters in the names:

wINdowS
lINSpIre

I suspect this conflict will lead to product confusion and continued loss of sales by Microsoft until this evil Linspire changes its name to resolve the conflict.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (3, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | about 10 years ago | (#8861410)

You're forgetting that on the world stage Lindows was infringing upon the Widos trademark. In the initial suits filed, none of the countries had the word "Windows" in their language so it was a competely unique trademark. This was really brilliant lawering really because even though Lindows had a chance to keep using the name here, they would fracture the brand and Michael Robertson is in this to form a company around Linux right? I'm guessing Robertson had a little help from his board figuring this one out because I think he still wants to fight this fight that he knows he's eventually going to lose.

Re:Little guys can't fight a giant... (0, Flamebait)

goldspider (445116) | about 10 years ago | (#8861428)

This whole story reminded me of an angry child, lashing out at a parent who'd caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. Microsoft rightly (IMHO) went after them when they were called "Lindows" (deliberately deceptive), and all Lindows could respond with was a childish runaround that only succeeded in wasting the courts' time.

Oh, and how does one pronounce "Lin---s" anyway? The first thing Linspire should do to improve their chances is sack their brat of a CEO.

FP? (-1, Offtopic)

Walrus99 (543380) | about 10 years ago | (#8861167)

FP? or at least second or third???

Re:FP? (1)

Walrus99 (543380) | about 10 years ago | (#8861479)

Well, I messed up my Karma, but I was second. Anyway, guess I shoud say something on-topic to see if i can get modded up: Does AT&T have a trademark on the name 'phone book'? does Ford have a trademark on the name 'automobile'? Windows is a generic name for the area of a computer screen where we see a file or program. It just goes to show you that money talks. Just a matter of time before they outlaw Linux in the U.S. We will have to download it from China or Korea.

In other news... (5, Funny)

Rapid Home Offer (770408) | about 10 years ago | (#8861169)

In other news, the lawyers for Winspire Success Seminars [winspire.com] get their pens ready...

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861191)

Hehe. I was thinking of Dell.
"Now you too can get Linspire on laptops for the ultimate in portable computing."

*litigation beings*

Trademarks are adjectives (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#8861481)

I found it easy to rephrase that sentence so as not to dilute Dell's "Inspiron" trademark, as you're supposed to put a common noun after a trademark anyway: "Now you too can get Linspire OS on laptops for the ultimate in portable computing."

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

LMCBoy (185365) | about 10 years ago | (#8861332)

Suffice to say, I misread the word "pens" in "get their pens ready...". You owe me a keyboard, as mine is now coffee-soaked. ;)

Discussion summary (2, Funny)

timothv (730957) | about 10 years ago | (#8861177)

  • Since when is Windows not a common name?
    • It's a trademark in European countries.
  • Since when is Windows not a common name?
    • It's a trademark in European countries.
  • Since when is Windows not a common name?
    • It's a trademark in European countries.

How MS was able to trademark it (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#8861447)

"Windows" is not a common noun in countries that do not have English as an official language. Among European countries, only the UK and Ireland seem to speak English in the trademark office.

In other news ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861181)

The fine folks at Mozilla have decided to join forces with the Linspire team.

Please await *drumroll* LinFire 0.9 any day now..

Oh no (4, Funny)

re-Verse (121709) | about 10 years ago | (#8861188)

What a Linsipid name. In my opnion it sounds like the name of a cheesy fly by night telemarketing company.. or a group that sell motivational self-help tapes to desperate and simple-minded middle management types.

Not that I could do any better, I'm sure... but Linspire really sounds boring.

Re:Oh no (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 10 years ago | (#8861272)

Not that I could do any better, I'm sure... but Linspire really sounds boring.

At least it's not Expire .

Re:Oh no (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 10 years ago | (#8861354)

What a Linsipid name. In my opnion it sounds like the name of a cheesy fly by night telemarketing company..

Remember, Microsoft is there to prove that it's possible to succeed brilliantly with crappy names. Remember how everybody laughed when a product called "windows" came out? I mean what next, "blinds"? And gee, even the name "micro-soft" is not exceptionally well chosen.

But nobody's laughing anymore today, and if you need to get a pane replaced in your house and you google for "windows", you'll never find what you want.

Re:Oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861411)

That's right. Word isn't much more inspired...

Is it an OS or a car? (5, Funny)

jamehec (703164) | about 10 years ago | (#8861196)

I mean, do I install it on my computer, park it in my driveway, or drink it from a fancy bottle?

Linspire. Whoever thought that up needs to get more linspired. Jeeeebus O'Reilly McChrist in a dead DeLorean. :rolleyes:

Terrible, terrible name (4, Funny)

Schlemphfer (556732) | about 10 years ago | (#8861197)

It sounds like a Korean car. I'm going to spend the next hour cringing. Really surprised they didn't go with LinDOS (a previous candidate) or something with a modicum of coolness. I guess the company isn't shelling out big bucks for its marketing department.

Re:Terrible, terrible name (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#8861263)

They're marketing all right... but Slashdot isn't their audience. They know true geeks won't touch their product with a 10 foot pole, but they're chasing after the people who wouldn't touch Linux with a 10 foot otherwise.

Re:Terrible, terrible name (1)

gid13 (620803) | about 10 years ago | (#8861267)

They presumably didn't go with LinDOS because they wanted the legal fight to end. If MS was going after them for Lin---s, which they were, I'm sure the technical meaning of DOS wouldn't stop them from trying to shut down LinDOS. I mean, hey, Lin---s removes D, O, and W, whereas LinDOS only takes out the W.

Hey Microsoft.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861200)

...eat a bag of shit you sack gobblers.

I wonder where they get... (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#8861209)

I wonder where they get all their naming inspiration...

Maybe by drinking too much wine???

Re:I wonder where they get... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861317)

They have a good FAQ up over here about why they chose the name they did, and chose not to fight.

Naming FAQ [spacker.net]

Re:I wonder where they get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861345)

Come on! There has to be a moderator out there that gets the joke.

Re:I wonder where they get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861475)

Yes, we get it, and it is fucking lame you asshat.

(Score: -1, Lame)

Linspire? (4, Funny)

bfg9000 (726447) | about 10 years ago | (#8861214)

L'inspire? What is that, French? Aren't they the enemies or something now?

They might as well have saved us a step and just named it "Freedom Linux" before we do it for them.

PR and Cybersquatting (5, Interesting)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | about 10 years ago | (#8861232)

"Lindows" was just a PR move and the trademark equivalent of cybersquatting. Let's not forget that the founder of the company got his start by registering mp3.com as well as slight variations of the URLs of other major sites and convincing a VC to fund him as a company. Yet again, though, his strategy worked pretty well.

Just like X *Windows* is cybersquatting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861320)

That right, MS fanboys. There's this thing called X Windows that predates Microsoft.

Oh yeah, and X Windows is a graphical user interface.

M$'s "Windows" is a bogus trademark. Period.

Re:Just like X *Windows* is cybersquatting? (1)

javatips (66293) | about 10 years ago | (#8861461)

Hummm, I not sure of this... I just did some googleling and it seems that X was created in the mid-80 [x.org] and Windows 1.0 was announced in 1983 [fortunecity.com] (and released in 1985 and they started working on it in 1981).

The dates from x.org are not very precise, but it looks like mid-80s could be intepreted as 1985 which is 2 year after Windows 1.0 was announced.

Linspire? (4, Interesting)

heironymouscoward (683461) | about 10 years ago | (#8861233)

It's a bit weak.

Actually, it really sucks. Sorry, Michael Robertson, but you could have done better.

"LindOS" cuts it better.

Re:Linspire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861340)

It probably is a little weak, but at least they're trying to make a name for themselves, rather than sound like a cheap knock-off of a recognized brand.

I Never Thought I'd Say This, (3, Insightful)

dupper (470576) | about 10 years ago | (#8861238)

But Lindash was better. I think we need a Slashdot poll.

Hasn't this been done before? (2, Informative)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 10 years ago | (#8861242)

Shoddily made computers sold with a crippled version of an OS? Acer did it in the 90's they called it "Aspire". LAWSUIT AGAIN!

I'd have much preferred (2, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 10 years ago | (#8861243)

Linspire is non-consentual and "Microsoft-safe", and I can understand they want to avoid going through that again with the Redmond monster. But I'd have much preferred if they have renamed themselves "Lindoze" or "liNT" or "eXPect-more" or something like that, to piss them off...

Oh well, bland name but still a cool company. I'm just glad they escaped their (first) legal stint with Microsoft more or less unscathed..

I submitted that HOURS ago. (-1, Offtopic)

fearlezz (594718) | about 10 years ago | (#8861244)

I submitted that HOURS ago.

Some dutch magazine visited the Lindows.com press release page. The url of that page was something like lindows.com/page?id=25. They increased the ID by 1 and tadaaa, hours before the official announcement, there it was. :)

Re:I submitted that HOURS ago. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861377)

And who gives a turkey? Your submission was rejected, get over it yet, bitch...

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861249)

a crap name, seriously. I think most people preferred "Lindos", its catchy, easy to say, and rememberable, but "Linspire" just sounds, well, pretty lame.

Re:what (1)

eclectro (227083) | about 10 years ago | (#8861415)

Not necessarily. Microsoft could conceivably argue that Lindos was not a far enough of a departure away from their name like they did with Lin---s.

This way they get out of it entirely and are able to continue to sell in foreign countries.

Meanwhile they can continue the battle at home, and hopefully prove that Microsoft hijacked the generic term "windows" (like from X) for themselves.

While this may not be the ideal solution, it will work until they win the court case, which I'm certainly hoping for.

The lindows announcement. (3, Informative)

asterism (148910) | about 10 years ago | (#8861251)

Here is the blurb on their own site:

http://info.lindows.com/linspire/Linspirelanding .h tml

I can see a new slashdot poll coming: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861258)

What will Lindows change its name to next week?

But what about the Victoria's Secret disto???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861266)

It just came out: Lingerie

Thank you, I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitresses!

Big Deal (4, Interesting)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | about 10 years ago | (#8861271)

Firstly theyt purposefully chose the name to rhyme with windows, hoping to cash in with average joe's familiarity with the term windows.

But seriously how many average joe's just walk to best buy and buy a copy of windows OS and install it on their PC. Let's face it, most people just use the OS their PC came installed with.

Given this fact, I fail to see how the name Lindows, was any beneficial. I mean, most people don't even know what an OS stands for, so what are the chances they go to buy Windows OS and install it on their own, and Now take a percentage of those extremely small nos. who will be fooled by the Lindows boxes sitting next to Windows boxes.

And the ones who are comfortable installing their own OS, any ways are not likely to be misled. So the name choice was unfortunate to begin with. All it did was gave them a lot of publicity (which is not a bad thing) but I really wonder how many customers really bought it think it to be windows.

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861439)

But seriously how many average joe's just walk to best buy and buy a copy of windows OS and install it on their PC. Let's face it, most people just use the OS their PC came installed with.


You'd be surprised. My local Bestbuy regularly sells out of Windows. It may be different in Saudi Arabia though, I don't know.

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861469)

But seriously how many average joe's just walk to best buy and buy a copy of windows OS and install it on their PC. Let's face it, most people just use the OS their PC came installed with.


You'd be surprised. My local Bestbuy regularly sells out of Windows. It may be different in Hobbiton though, I don't know.

Re:Big Deal (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 10 years ago | (#8861492)

Actually, they chose the name "Lindows" because they originally claimed that it would run Windows programs. That was a lie of course, and they no longer make that claim.

It's unfortunate that our legal system is so corrupt that Microsoft can literally do anything and get away with it simply because they have $50 Billion in the bank.
On the other hand, Lindows by any name, is crap.

So I guess it all evens out.

In other news (4, Interesting)

broothal (186066) | about 10 years ago | (#8861277)

Only 45 hits [google.com] on Google if you search for "linspire" at the time of writing. I wonder how many hits there will be tomorrow at the same time.
Anyway, they seemed to have known this for quite some time. From a whois on linspire.com and linspire.org:

Record created on 15-Jan-2004.

Linspire? Hahaha! More like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861279)

Lineffective. Linept. Linferior. And my all-time favorite, Linane.

Linspire/lindows Stinks anyway (0)

slashhax0r (579213) | about 10 years ago | (#8861287)

Problem with lindows.. or linspire, or whatever That click and install thing was a great idea, but why the monthly fee? seems to me, that if you're going to have a linux based os, that the free utils should remain free! geeze.. Now if they have their own version of something that they want to sell, fine, but when you go to click and install a simple thing and it wants money.. that is a bit off...

Re:Linspire/lindows Stinks anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861412)

the free utils are free. that's why they call them free. "click and install" or whatever was a service. You're paying for a service that allows you to easily install software, you troll, you.

well. (1, Funny)

mrsev (664367) | about 10 years ago | (#8861290)

At least they get some publicity out of it.

I hope that Bill G gets sued by http://www.gates.com/ The World's Most Trusted Name in Belts, Hose and Hydraulics.

After all it is a trade mark and his "Gates" foundation is clearly in breach.

Not gonna happen. (0, Troll)

jamehec (703164) | about 10 years ago | (#8861403)

The word "gates" is generic and cannot be copyrighted. Sorry.

Re:Not gonna happen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861460)

>The word "gates" is generic and cannot be copyrighted. Sorry.

Generic words: windows, office, access, word, apple. 'nuff said.

Can't wait... (5, Funny)

Tribbin (565963) | about 10 years ago | (#8861325)

... to try the new LDE with Lmail, Lword, Lonqueror and Lxmms. Not to forget Lozilla-Lirelox.

Lat least lhey lon't lave lo lange lilo's lame!

Solly, lounge got louse.

And unsnow the drive way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861327)

Formidable, I need help to remove te snow from the drive way.

Ninnle changes name to 'Ninnle' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861333)

Ninnle Linux is untouchable!

WTF? Where's my Ford? (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | about 10 years ago | (#8861349)

Earlier today, I was looking into buying a Ford Aspire, and I thought I got a great deal on one, as I wired the money into the dealer's account.

When I came to pick it up, the dealer handed me a CD with some "Aspire" operating system?

WTF? Where's my Aspire?

Back in the Day (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 10 years ago | (#8861360)

They'd have renamed themselves "Butthole Monopolistic IT Company" and gotten themselves sued (again) for slander. But the IT industry really doesn't have a lot of soul left in it, so no one would actually do that these days.

It is not bad (1)

MrRuslan (767128) | about 10 years ago | (#8861375)

but personally i think LinOS not LinDOS or lindash would work good...think about it lin=linux OS ...simple as that.

Too late for a suggestion... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 10 years ago | (#8861408)

They could have shown a somewhat ironic way of accepting the demand of evil Microsoft lawyers: Linbows.

Let the jokes begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861438)

Da da da da dum linspector gadget, da da da da dum datdum...

hmm... (1)

ebilhoax (609649) | about 10 years ago | (#8861455)

"I have now used LindowsOS for a little over one week and found it to be the best Linux Distro so far."

He left out two important words at the end of this sentence.

"I have now used LindowsOS for a little over one week and found it to be the best Linux Distro so far for me [osnews.com]"

What a Lincredible name! (5, Funny)

kelzer (83087) | about 10 years ago | (#8861456)

It took tremendous Linsight to come up with the name "Linspire". I find the whole story quite Linteresting. Thanks for the Linformative links.

Stupid Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8861489)

Let me get this straight...the change was linspired by the Microsoft lawsuit?

Subliminal message: IN PERILS (2, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 10 years ago | (#8861490)

Obviously it's a subliminal message... they believe our right brain will subconscously recognize LINSPIRE as an anagram of IN PERILS.
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