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Lindows Changes Name to 'Linspire' 418

Posted by timothy
from the bully-meets-showoff dept.
Robert Nicholson writes "As previously covered, Lindows has decided to change its name thanks to Microsoft legal threats. Well it has just announced the new name - Linspire - clever, huh? There's a site at Linspire.com. The full story and the history behind it all are covered on Techworld."
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Lindows Changes Name to 'Linspire'

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  • by mindless4210 (768563) * on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:01PM (#8861166) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • I get it. It's like perspire ... only with Linux, right?
    • by gid13 (620803) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:05PM (#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.
    • by Liselle (684663) * <slashdot.liselle@net> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:05PM (#8861218) Journal
      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. ;)
      • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:17PM (#8861369) Journal
        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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:12PM (#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.
    • by somethinghollow (530478) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:12PM (#8861313) Homepage Journal
      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...
      • Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich, Malkovich Malkovich; Malkovich Microsoft, Microsoft Microsoft MicrosoftMicrosoft...
      • by NanoGator (522640) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @02:20PM (#8862228) Homepage Journal
        "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. "

        You hit the nail on the head, except it works against the point you were aiming for. Seeing as how Lindows was already established as "Lindows" and the damage was already done (in the legal sense), then --- change really isn't doing anything to alleviate the problem, now is it?

        To put it in simpler terms: They probably could have gotten away with Lin---s if they hadn't already gotten into a legal battle over the name "Lindows".

        It's fun to bash Microsoft over this matter, afterall it is the 'cool' thing to do here at Slashdot, but the reality is that the CEO of Lindows has intentionally and maliciously made trouble for Microsoft. If the companies' roles in this matter were reversed, the general judgement about who's really guilty wouldn't suddenly change. Microsoft would still be the bad guy.
    • by sulli (195030) * on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:16PM (#8861365) Journal
      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.

    • by rfrenzob (163001) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:16PM (#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.
    • by stubear (130454) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:21PM (#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.
    • by boudie (704942) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:33PM (#8861569)
      I'm sure they were linspired by the linvoices from their legal department.
    • 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.

      Ahem....Eolas [forbes.com]?

    • by mec (14700) <mec@shout.net> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @02:51PM (#8862593) Journal
      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.

      Caldera International purchased the rights to DR-DOS, then sued Microsoft for the damage that Microsoft had done to DR-DOS.

      Caldera settled for an estimated $150 million from Microsoft.

      Microsoft settles Caldera Antitrust Case [bbc.co.uk]

      To be sure, Caldera later turned to the dark side in a big way. They are now suing another software giant.
  • by Rapid Home Offer (770408) * on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:01PM (#8861169) Homepage Journal
    In other news, the lawyers for Winspire Success Seminars [winspire.com] get their pens ready...
    • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:02PM (#8861181)

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

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

  • First post! (Score:5, Funny)

    by konkani (761433) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:02PM (#8861183)
    "It came to me in a moment of Linspiration"
  • Oh no (Score:5, Funny)

    by re-Verse (121709) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:03PM (#8861188) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • Not that I could do any better, I'm sure... but Linspire really sounds boring.

      At least it's not Expire .
    • Re:Oh no (Score:3, Funny)

      by jared_hanson (514797)
      What were you expecting? Their first choice was Lindows. That name caused me to instantly and irreversibly lose any respect for the company.
  • by jamehec (703164) <jim AT aoeu DOT zzn DOT com> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:04PM (#8861196) Homepage
    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:
    • I mean, do I install it on my computer, park it in my driveway, or drink it from a fancy bottle?

      Maybe all those things, as Lindo^H^H^H^HLinspire takes over the desktop from Microsoft, and seeks licensing agreements with other vendors for use of their future good name.

      Linspire......an air of sophistication that will give you inspiration!

      I should head up marketing for them, huh?
  • by Schlemphfer (556732) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:04PM (#8861197) Homepage
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • general computer users do not remember DOS favorably. Associating you're product with it is a baaaad idea. But yeah, Linspire sucks, a lot. I thought LinDash, although kinda dumb, was fine. Spell it Lin\- maybe (you don't just want the '-' sign on the end, it looks bad too). But then you're customers have to find the '\' key on thier keyboard...
  • I wonder where they get all their naming inspiration...

    Maybe by drinking too much wine???

  • Linspire? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bfg9000 (726447) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:05PM (#8861214) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • they'd call their software the Linspire Linsuit.
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MrNonchalant (767683)
    The logo and domain name seem to be the only changes at Linspire.com [linspire.com], everything else still says Lindows. Can you say plausible deniability?
    • They just haven't gotten around to doing %s/Lindows/Linspire/g on all the HTML pages yet.
      Probably waiting for all the images to be changed first
  • Mon Dieu! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:05PM (#8861222)
    L'inspire est le trademarke pour le Parlement du Francias! C'est et desitenement immedinantre! Alors!
  • by LaNMaN2000 (173615) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:06PM (#8861232) Homepage
    "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.
    • Really... so Robertson registered mp3.com... everything I've seen says that he purchased it... Robertson and MP3 [acusd.edu] Nephilium
    • For more info, see these links:

      http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/decisions/html/2 00 0/d2000-0009.html (Talk-City.com)

      http://seclists.org/lists/politech/2000/Mar/0014 .h tml

      http://www.fool.com/specials/2000/sp000523b.htm (Tu-cows.com)

      Another poster may be right that mp3.com was purchased from a third party. But, Robertson has a history of typosquatting, etc.
  • Linspire? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:06PM (#8861233) Journal
    It's a bit weak.

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

    "LindOS" cuts it better.
  • by dupper (470576) * <adamlouis@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:07PM (#8861238) Journal
    But Lindash was better. I think we need a Slashdot poll.
  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent@stonent. ... t ['lar' in gap]> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:07PM (#8861242) Journal
    Shoddily made computers sold with a crippled version of an OS? Acer did it in the 90's they called it "Aspire". LAWSUIT AGAIN!
    • No, running an OS that runs everything as root is punishment enough. Lindows got some good press for their click-n-run interface stuff, but... last time I checked, Lindows still logged in everyone as root.

      YIKES!

    • I had an Acer Aspire from 1995(or 96), it wasn't that bad. The biggest problem I've had with it was the CD-ROM drive chokes on CD-R(but so do some other older CD-ROM drive), and the power supply died last year, but before that the thing ran almost constantly for 7 or 8 years. Also the OS wasn't any more crippled that any other verison of Windows 95, the only difference was that by default it had the Ace shell running on top of it, but it could easily be disabled.
    • Acer did it in the 90's they called it "Aspire".
      But Acer doesn't want people to remember that so they will probably not follow through
  • 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..
  • by asterism (148910) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:08PM (#8861251) Homepage
    Here is the blurb on their own site:

    http://info.lindows.com/linspire/Linspirelanding .h tml
  • by sczimme (603413) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:08PM (#8861253)

    clicky clicky [theregister.co.uk]
  • Acer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheTomcat (53158) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:08PM (#8861256) Homepage
    Acer is going to be pissed [acer.com]!

    S
  • Big Deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frodo from middle ea (602941) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:09PM (#8861271) Homepage
    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.

    • 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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by broothal (186066) <christian@fabel.dk> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:10PM (#8861277) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by Tribbin (565963) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:13PM (#8861325) Homepage
    ... 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.
  • 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.
  • by airConditionedGypsy (703864) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:16PM (#8861363)
    Hmmm, I guess XPire wasn't an attractive name option. It might draw some more ire..

    ok, i'll stop.

  • They could have shown a somewhat ironic way of accepting the demand of evil Microsoft lawyers: Linbows.
  • by kelzer (83087) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:25PM (#8861456) Homepage
    It took tremendous Linsight to come up with the name "Linspire". I find the whole story quite Linteresting. Thanks for the Linformative links.

  • Let MS chew on this it's a linspiracy.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:27PM (#8861490) Homepage
    Obviously it's a subliminal message... they believe our right brain will subconscously recognize LINSPIRE as an anagram of IN PERILS.
  • by oddpete (710031)
    I think a good name change would have been Winux...
  • I'd have suggested "Lindoors"
  • How about Lyrebird? No, wait, there's that database...
  • Just Wondering (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tharian (196561) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:51PM (#8861807)
    With all the controversy over changing the name to Lin---s or some such, why didn't they look at following their own comment about the "W" being all the problem and change it to something like LindOS and say that now it was a completely different name and wouldn't impinge on Microsoft's trademark?

    Wouldn't that have given them a name that was remarkably similar to their previous name to have recognition yet distinct enough to avoid ... well... I guess there might not be any avoiding a lawsuit from a company wanting to take out the competition.
  • by Merlinium (678576) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @02:30PM (#8862350) Journal
    to also change their name to Whispering-Window because Redmond told them to. Whispering-Windows [whispering-windows.com] is not even a computer product, it's a speaker system for retail store windows.
    Next thing you know, when you build a house your going to have to purchase large panes of glass to be mounted in the side of a wall. When will this insane madness stop and common sense start to prevail? but then again I guess, common sense is not all that common.
  • by bugnuts (94678) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @02:57PM (#8862648) Journal
    Lintimidated

  • by mbourgon (186257) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @02:58PM (#8862657) Homepage
    Lipshits.
  • Linnovative (Score:4, Funny)

    by rixstep (611236) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @03:18PM (#8862859) Homepage
    I think the new name is linteresting. It's linfective and very lintelligent. This little lincident with the itigation shows that great minds are not lidle for ong. With Microsoft linsisting they have lintellectual property rights on '---' any other countermeasure will ikely prove to be lineffective.

    Just as long as Linus doesn't come along and claim he owns the letter 'L' - which is hardly going to happen. He and Bill Gates weren't born on the same day, or come from the same mold.

    But let's not have any lillusions: Microsoft are a lillegal monopoly. They bode lill for the rest of the Linternet.
  • by Doug Neal (195160) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @09:26PM (#8865665)
    Had a look at their website and clicked on "SCO information [linspire.com]" to see what their position on the whole SCO thing was. Suprisingly it looks like they've been "in talks" with SCO and even drawn up a contract. Are they paying SCO licenses? Come on Robertson, I know you're trying to do what's best for your business and all that, but SCO? Not cool.

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