Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Business Government Microsoft The Courts News

Lindows Allowed to Use Company Name in Holland 228

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the a-company-by-any-other-name dept.
Supp0rtLinux writes "It appears that Lindows/Linspire has finally made some headway against Microsoft in the Netherlands. According this article, the Judge ruled that Linspire's continued, but minimal use of 'Lindows' for legal and trademark purposes doesn't violate Microsoft's trademark. With the US court date on this issue coming up soon, one can only wonder if Microsoft will have effectively cut off its nose to spite its face. And following immediately on the heels of today's Netherlands news, the latest Michael's Minutes from Linspire pegs all the blame for virus problems on Microsoft and basically says that Linux (well, Lindows anyway) is the cure."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Lindows Allowed to Use Company Name in Holland

Comments Filter:
  • to michael credit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xlyz (695304) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:09AM (#9276028) Journal
    even if there are things he does that I don't like, I must concede he is really relentless and aggressive in pushing lindows
  • by myom (642275) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:12AM (#9276049)
    There are some differences between USA and Europe that will give some varying and odd court decisions. Big business has a strong hold of the US courts. The only way they can lose is if anyone even stronger is the counterpart, or if a state or country invests heavily in the suit to gain even larger monetary gains from winning in the court. In Europe, this is rarely the case, but on the other hand many European legislators and courts are weak, have little resources and time. In Sweden, for example, the Social Democarat party tends to legislate and vote in the EU parlament often following the US court results and organisation bullying (MPAA, RIAA) Some countries invest time and resources to actually learn what the cases are about, and court cases involving Microsoft etc, can in fact be lost by the larger companies, liek in this case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:21AM (#9276090)
    And the security subject comes up when they run the user as root?? Its having having a blind man sell you glasses...
  • by BurritoWarrior (90481) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:21AM (#9276093)
    Really? So all the holes in Outlook through the years haven't meant anything?

    And the fact that all home users were "root" by default prior to XP means nothing?

    And the fact that unless set up differently, even in XP the average user is "root" is not an issue?

    Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure....
  • by JaF893 (745419) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:23AM (#9276100) Journal
    What you have said isn't really true. One of the major strengths of Linux is the lack of a monoculture. Most distributions come with 3 or 4 web browsers, e-mail programs, and media players etc. It would take a very good hacker to find a generic security hole in every program.

    The only other option would be to try and exploit a security hole in the Kernel. Given that not everybody runs the same Kernel this would also prove difficult.
  • by lazy_arabica (750133) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:24AM (#9276103) Homepage
    If Joe Average ran GNU/linux.. we'd see just as many worms, just as many viruses, just as many spam boxes..
    If you only knew how many times I heard that argument... Go learn what a security model is, and how design-time decisions can make an OS much more secure than another one.
  • Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omnirealm (244599) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:26AM (#9276110) Homepage

    ...the latest Michael's Minutes from Linspire pegs all the blame for virus problems on Microsoft and basically says that Linux (well, Lindows anyway) is the cure.

    The irony of this statement is that Lindows will probably be one of the driving forces in getting Linux viruses popular. By marketing the software to those who are less computer-savvy while making the root user the default user, Lindows is opening up the door for some nasty widespread security exploits. Some of the reasons why viruses have not been a problem under Linux so far has been due to smaller desktop market penetration, heterogeneity, the computer literacy of those who run Linux, and the restricted account privileges of the user. Lindows threatens all of those factors.

  • by the_rajah (749499) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:29AM (#9276123) Homepage
    While the "safety by obscurity" factor has some validity and would largely disappear if a larger percentage of people were using GNU/linux, the simple fact is that Linux is much more secure by default.

    Think of all those vulnerabilities that are defaults in Windows. Think also about the fact that most Linux distros do not encourage the user to run as "root". Not that Linux has no potential vulnerabilities, but they are much fewer than Windows..
  • by khuber (5664) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:31AM (#9276137)
    An operating system using the name Lindows when the most popular desktop OS is Windows is obviously using that name to capitalize on Microsoft's brand recognition.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:31AM (#9276138)
    Lindows from what I understand makes the big mistake opf giving users the nice experiance by running as the root user.

    This is pretty brain dead at the best of times and will allow worms to propogate as badly as at present. If windows users were not always logged in as admin there wouldn't be such a problem as there is. I am sure the same will be said for any OS, where you can do anything as the normal user.

    If a Lindows user gets a browser worm or similar and is root, it can still propgate and do what it like just as on windows.
  • by sheriff_p (138609) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:34AM (#9276150)
    Exactly.

    The idea that a virus/worm needs its exploited user to be root to replicate and spread to other people is ludicrous. Almost all recent Windows viruses wouldn't have been particularly hindered if the user wasn't running as root - in most cases, they simply replicate, by email - a situation you don't need to be running as a privileged user to replicate.

    And if we're picking random piece of software oft-associated with a platform, and looking at their security history, try taking a deep look bind/sendmail.

    +Pete (a commited OpenBSD user)
  • by jdesbonnet (22) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:34AM (#9276151)
    I don't have the latest figures, but I'm pretty sure that MacOSX desktop figures far outweight those of any Linux distribution (right now anyway ;-)

    MacOSX is a real OS. What's the virus situation here? I think it will be a good indication of what life will be like when Linux desktop becomes more common.

    BTW: this is a question... not a statement, but my hunch is that MacOSX malware is rare (?)
  • by Ludo.Sanders (594901) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:43AM (#9276201)
    I'm missing the word "yet". As the recent software patents in Europe painfully demonstrates, the European union is sold to big corporations. Ask Bolkestein [eu.int], he'll confirm
  • by formal_entity (778568) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:46AM (#9276212) Homepage
    Well say that "X Window System" where first, then Microsoft added a single letter and it became "Windows" with an plural s. After that Lindows release yet another GUI system and changed again 1 letter... (W became L) and then Microsoft is all pissed off about it?! These word games are just aweful, it would be so much better if they could just write code instead! :)
  • Ok, first off... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@e x i t0.us> on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:48AM (#9276221) Homepage
    ...I really don't like Microsoft.

    But saying Linspire pegs all the blame for virus problems on Microsoft and basically says that Linux (well, Lindows anyway) is the cure." strikes me as wrongheaded. The problems with Microsoft/virus issue are all legacy issues. If you think about it, all Microsoft code is based on a pre-Internet OS. It really isn't geared to the Internet to day. It's kind of like why pre-'70s (US) cars may not need to meet modern pollution codes. This does not make it right. But Microsoft itself is too monolithic to respond properly.

    Also the users that are having the problems are all the "unwashed masses" that don't know to patch their systems properly and to pratice safe web surfing. They need to be educated.

  • by Frit Mock (708952) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:49AM (#9276238)

    Although I think that Linux is more secure, I think the writer of the parent article is (almost) right.

    How many Worms/Viruses/Spams we "see", is less related to the number of security hole that exist in a certain system, it is more related to the number of "attackers" and the number of targets!

    Not every securityhole is exploited, typically a high number of securityholes means nothing more, than only a tiny fraction of them are exploited.

    If the number of systems prone to an attack is the same and the number of attackers is the same, then the fraction of exploited securityholes just increases ... and the total number of attacks stays nearly constant.

  • by I confirm I'm not a (720413) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:50AM (#9276241) Journal
    Do you guys really think for one second that if Linux were the dominant operating system, and thus had the attention of hackers worldwide, that it would remain as secure as it seems to be now?

    I'll bet it would turn up at least as full of holes as Windows is now. Microsoft OSes are under asault in a trial by fire the likes of which no one has ever seen before.

    Really, this hoary old chestnut has been done-to-death. No. I don' think for one second that if Linux yada yada yada. For numerous reasons outlined already in this thread. Because Linux has a competent security model. Because Windows is homogenous - many/most users use identical apps (think Outlook Express, IE), on Linux there's too much choice for a worm, etc, to successfully propogate using one target. Because Linux doesn't default to running as root, and provides an easy mechanism for dropping-into root when you need to (disclaimer: maybe Windows has this - I've never found it, and I've been running Windows a lot longer than I've been running Linux).

    Please, people, rather than using arguments like "I'll bet...", try just googling for facts. Or give up trolling.

  • by mangu (126918) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:51AM (#9276248)
    Linux is intrinsically more secure because it's open source. Linux is used in so many universities all over the world that there are too many professors and researchers looking over the code for a dangerous weak spot to grow. Windows, on the other hand, is known only by a few programmers in Redmond. It's a combination of two factors: fewer eyes looking at the code and monoculture.


    A team of programmers in a commercial company distributes the work in the most cost-effective way, so that each person in the team specializes in a section of the code. There is little cross-checking if any. In open source, OTOH, there are people with different backgrounds verifying the code, independently.

    That's the same reason why crackers find weak spots in software, they verify details that the programmers who created the software never thought about checking. In open source there is a balance of forces that's strongly biased to "good", instead of "evil", because the "black hats" are more often immature teens while the "white hats" are university professors. In commercial software, the balance of forces tends more to the "evil" side, because of the larger number of people in the black hats.

  • Here's what I want to know.

    Most slashdotters direct much wrath towards the makers of spyware, adware, and malware in general, because they are a pain in the ass that inconvenience users.

    However when someone writes a virus that inconveniences users, almost everyone here blames Microsoft and not the writer of the virus.

    Seeing how there is almost no difference between the two, why are spyware publishers lambasted but virus writers given a free pass, and in many cases, lauded as champions against the evil Microsoft Empire?

  • by meringuoid (568297) on Friday May 28, 2004 @09:01AM (#9276303)
    if Linux were the dominant operating system, and thus had the attention of hackers worldwide

    What do you mean, 'if'? Linux does have the attention of hackers worldwide. How else do you think it ever got written?

  • Re:So how long... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aixou (756713) on Friday May 28, 2004 @09:04AM (#9276317)
    You think Lindows' site is bad? Browse a couple pages on THIS [go-l.com] site. People are going to copy Apple no matter what. For the most part, all Apple can do is keep innovating and stay ahead of the game
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @09:15AM (#9276389)
    An operating system using the name Lindows when the most popular desktop OS is Windows is obviously using that name to capitalize on Microsoft's brand recognition.

    I don't think there's any doubt about that but that isn't enough. The question is whether "Windows" is a generic term in computer graphical interfaces and it seems pretty obvious that it is.

    People are allowed to capitalize on all manner of things. Saying "but he's obviously trying to make money and stuff!" doesn't make a case for trademark infringement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @09:59AM (#9276687)

    Which, in itself, is not a problem and is not illegal.

    It's is a problem, and it is illegal, when the term in question is trademarked. And companies shouldn't be allowed to trademark terms that are generic in their industry. Microsoft trademarking "windows" is akin to Ford trademarking "wheel".

    So, in short, if Microsoft wanted protection from this kind of thing, they shouldn't have used a term that is generic to the computer industry as the name of their operating system.

  • moron (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wasabii (693236) on Friday May 28, 2004 @10:11AM (#9276785)
    Well Michael is a moron frankly. What WOULD prevent Linux from becoming as virus infested as Windows would be security out of the box. Locked down settings.

    We have buffer overflows in programs just like them.

    So, it's good to know that Lindows distributes itself with no user accounts, but you run as root.
  • Re:Irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@nOSPAM.bellsouth.net> on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:10AM (#9277350)
    Training users to enter the aministrator password whenever a box pops up and asks for it might not be the best idea ever.
  • In holland? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pragma_x (644215) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:03PM (#9277834) Journal
    "Lindows" is okay in Holland, check. ... so what *isn't* allowed in Holland again?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:30PM (#9278097)

    Linux is intrinsically more secure because it's open source. Linux is used in so many universities all over the world that there are too many professors and researchers looking over the code for a dangerous weak spot to grow. Windows, on the other hand, is known only by a few programmers in Redmond. It's a combination of two factors: fewer eyes looking at the code and monoculture.

    Yet when the source code to Windows was released on the Internet how many flaws were discovered? One (if it would even count). So much for the "many eyes" argument. Seems that's not a factor (at least not with Windows).

Real Users hate Real Programmers.

Working...