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Lindows Agreeing to Change Name 638

xandroid writes "It looks like Lindows.com has thrown in the towel for the fight to keep its name: the Seattle Times reports that they 'would not continue a worldwide legal battle with Microsoft.' They will announce the new name next Wednesday, although a favorite is Lindos -- 'because it's the W that is causing all the problems'." Update: 04/07 19:37 GMT by S : This is worth clarifying - Michael Robertson is claiming "...the company will go by a different name outside the U.S. until it can win the right to use the Lindows name internationally."
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Lindows Agreeing to Change Name

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  • by stecoop ( 759508 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:50PM (#8794275) Journal
    because it's the W that is causing all the problems

    So the name isn't going to be Winux - because problems with Ws.
  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:51PM (#8794282) Journal
    I always kind of figured that Lindows would have to cave eventually. Microsoft is just too big and powerful to square off with over the name of a product, and I'm surprised that someone would create a name so obviously based on Microsoft's main product without considering the fact that the software giant would be almost forced to take legal action.

    Instead of Lindos, how about Lindros? They could use the handsome face of the Canadian-born New York Ranger as their logo, but what slogan would they use? Maybe something about hacking?
  • smart move (Score:3, Funny)

    by SoTuA ( 683507 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:51PM (#8794285)
    Enough like the old one to retain the brand recognition, and they can point out it is LindOS, if MS comes a-suing again. Of course, the question is "will it keep sucking?" ;)
  • Easy-Linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:51PM (#8794286) Journal
    From 2003, when Robertson (of Lindows fame) answered /. questions [slashdot.org] he said, "When we started Lindows.com we believed that software installation was extremely difficult for most users".

    To me this shows that Robertson is making his money on the connection between Linux, Windows and Lindows; by bridging the gap between the ease of windows and the better systemic designs of Linux. Therefore without the perfect name, Lindows may vanish into obscurity; but is a name that important? I think so, I don't think so... it doesn't matter really, does it? What to call it? How about Easy-Linux? Lindos won't work either, because it's got DOS in it...
  • For a potential naming lawsuit.
  • ...why not just call it "Windos"? ;)
  • Now these guys [caldera.com] will want a piece of the action.

  • That W (Score:5, Funny)

    by BrodyVess ( 455213 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:52PM (#8794295)
    Strange- the American economy and international reputation has the same issue. Its that W. thats causing all the problems
  • Finally, a win for the little guy!
  • by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:52PM (#8794315) Journal
    The new name will now be:

  • Now MS will sue them for infringing on their newly discovered DOS trademark.

  • by DRUNK_BEAR ( 645868 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:53PM (#8794334)
    Am I the only one who sees a connection with US politicians?? :P
  • Lindos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kjdames ( 588423 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:54PM (#8794340)
    Won't "Lindos" be just as scrutinized by Microsoft? After all, MikeRoweSoft was shot down, showing that a phonetic similarity is just as condemning as anything else.
    • Re:Lindos (Score:5, Informative)

      by dozing ( 111230 ) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:18PM (#8794707) Homepage
      Won't "Lindos" be just as scrutinized...

      If you read the most recent Michael's Minute [lindows.com] You'll see the following:

      Selecting a new name is more complex then you might think. A few weeks ago we asked for suggestions, and we were flooded with some creative ideas. My favorite was one user writing in to say our name should be "lindos" and our new slogan should be "because it's the W that is causing all the problems." :-) Finding a unique name for which domain names and trademarks are available takes real searching. We're now reviewing candidates and we will identify our new international name on April 14th. --Michael Robertson

      I take this to mean that Mr. Robertson found Lindos amusing, but does not intend to use it as the Product's new name.

  • by ganiman ( 162726 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:54PM (#8794345)

    because WinCANT
  • Someone give the entire company a moderation of "+1, Troll", thanks :)

  • Ok, How about Windux? or !Windows?

  • by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:54PM (#8794355)
    don't choose "firebird" I think they will be okay
  • Lin-D'Oh!s
  • NotWindows (Score:5, Funny)

    by debaere ( 94918 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:55PM (#8794361)
    I think the new name should be NotWindows.

    How can they complain? Its obviously not windows, right? :)
  • It's the W (Score:2, Funny)

    by Shipud ( 685171 )
    ...because it's the W that is causing all the problems.

    Strike W from Windows and you get INDOS, which is an accurate description of the product.

  • (I'm still waiting for this to make a poll)

    What about "Not_Stolen_From_Xerox_Or_Apple"
  • by baudilus ( 665036 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:56PM (#8794382)
    I downloaded LindowsOS that one day that they were offering for free (still haven't installed it), and I get these periodic emails from Michael Robertson (ceo Lindows?). This is the entire text:

    Michael's Minute: Name Change:

    Last week Judge Coughenour denied our request to block Microsoft's international legal barrage against Lindows.com. Two years ago Microsoft tried to stop Lindows in a U.S. court, but they were denied. Recently, they started piling on lawsuits from around the world attempting to achieve the same result. At the same time, Microsoft is publicly demanding that the EU respect the U.S. court actions concerning their monopolistic behavior and not impose their own rulings. Microsoft hypocritically has no such respect for the U.S. court decision which determined we can operate under the term Lindows pending a final resolution of the litigation.

    Some people may be puzzled about why Microsoft is attacking Lindows and not doing the same for Red Hat - a leading Linux server company. Microsoft has their targets set on Lindows because we are a desktop company. Microsoft has used that desktop dominance to move into other areas and to fund campaigns to wipe out potential competitors (Netscape, Be, Lotus, etc.). Microsoft will attack anything that it believes challenges its desktop monopoly, since it is their life blood. I'm confident that when we get to trial in the U.S., Microsoft employee testimony and internal communications will reveal their true motivations. However it's going to take some time to get resolution due to Microsoft's delay tactics. In the interim, Lindows is unable to fully respond to demand for desktop Linux from countries around the world due to name uncertainty.

    To assure that we can do business globally, we are in the process of selecting a different name for our web presence and product name. I believe it's the only way to respond to an onslaught from such a rich company, since we need to be able to continue to grow our business. (Only one of the richest companies in the world would launch 8 identical lawsuits from different countries.) Our US corporate name will remain Lindows Inc. since we have meaningful name recognition and product distribution.

    Outside the US we will go by a different name until we can battle for the right to use Lindows internationally. The US case will probably take a year to go through the 9th circuit court of appeals and perhaps another year for possible Supreme Court review. Our plan is to go to trial in the US as soon as possible, at which time we hope to get windows declared a generic word. If we win, we plan to approach the State Department and ask them to petition foreign governments to invalidate the windows trademark as they have done for other generic computing terms like "database," "operating system" and "pascal," which companies have tried to register as trademarks in foreign countries.

    Selecting a new name is more complex then you might think. A few weeks ago we asked for suggestions, and we were flooded with some creative ideas. My favorite was one user writing in to say our name should be "lindos" and our new slogan should be "because it's the W that is causing all the problems." :-) Finding a unique name for which domain names and trademarks are available takes real searching. We're now reviewing candidates and we will identify our new international name on April 14th. Once we identify a name, then we'll start the migration. Since we have thousands of web pages and more than 100 servers it will take considerable time to completely transition. The functionality in our product won't change, but outside the US people will know our products by a different name.

    We're not taking this change lightly. We need to keep our business from being held back by legal uncertainty. So visit the website next week, April 14th after 1:00 p.m. PST for the unveiling of our new name.

    -- Michael

    Hopefully this sheds some light.
    • Some people may be puzzled about why Microsoft is attacking Lindows and not doing the same for Red Hat

      Maybe because the mark "Red Hat" bears absolutely no similarity to the mark "Windows"?

    • Take a page from Apple -- definitely use "Sosumi". Apple has never trademarked the term.

      Or, in the same vein, "BHA Linux". (I'm going to see how many minutes it takes from my post for it to be until someone gets this allusion and posts about it -- I'm guessing less than thirty). :-)
    • I think Michael is making a mistake trying to fight this battle. Whilst the Windows trademark needs fighting, he should really be concentrating on battling Windows as a product.

      In the end, I don't think it matters what the product name is. Calling it Lindows might get some people to purchase it that might otherwise purchase Windows, but I doubt it really causes much confusion. However, calling it "Lin---s" in one area, whilst calling it "Lindows" in another, and then changing to "Lindos" outside the US
  • by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:56PM (#8794384)
    This just goes to show the fundamental problem with the current legal system: regardless of the merit of their position, the rich can use the courts to impose their will on the poor by killing them with legal fees.
  • Am I the only one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:57PM (#8794396) Journal
    ... sick of hearing Robertson whine like the world is out to get him?

    "I believe it's the only way to respond to an onslaught from such a rich company, since we need to be able to continue to grow our business," he said.

    Boo hoo. Who cares what you think of MSFT, they're in the right, IMO. If the OS was called Lacintosh OSX, Apple would do the same thing.

    Selling a "windows replacement" as "lindows" is pushing the line. Myself, I see it as a sleazy attempt to confuse unsavvy K-Mart shoppers into thinking they're getting Windows compatible machine.

    If MS released "Winux" do you think Linus would excercise his TM rights? I do, and he should.

    Screw this guy. He poked a bear with a stick, and is now crying that the bear took a run at him. He should consider himself lucky to get away, company intact, without being mauled.
    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:02PM (#8794472) Journal
      If MS released "Winux" do you think Linus would excercise his TM rights? I do, and he should.

      I don't, any more than I think that Linus would go after "Unix", "A/UX", "AIX", or "Minix", or any more than the holders of those trademarks went after Linus. Somehow, everyone managed to get along with vaguely similar names *except* Microsoft and Robertson.

      I will grant that Robertson is a terribly antagonizing fellow if you're competing with him (his prize to "port Linux to the X-Box via a hardware and software approach" that essentially subsidized a cracking of Microsoft's DRM scheme and their subsequent loss of a lot more than his $100,000 prize, was a slick strategic move but terribly unfriendly).
    • Let me start by saying that I think 'Lindows' is a pretty dumb name, it just sounds me too-ish.

      That being said, IIRC Microsoft doesn't have a trademark on the word Windows...it's too generic. Their trademark is on 'Microsoft Windows', 'Windows XP', etc. Linux is a trade mark, Mac OSX is a trademark.

      So I think it's wrong for Microsoft to be able to force Lindows to change it's name.
    • by sommere ( 105088 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:12PM (#8794613) Homepage
      Except that Microsoft didn't make up the name "windows" it pre-dates Microsoft Windows.

      Next thing, I'll come up with "MyCompany MouseGestures," it will become the most well known mose gesture software, and I'll sue anyone who uses anything that sounds like MouseGestures. Except that I didn't invest MouseGestures, but somehow I've come to own it.

      Microsoft didn't invent windowing operating systems, and it shouldn't get to own the term "windows" just because its windowing operating systems is the most popular and it chose a generic term for its name.
  • Lindose? Besides from sounding like some kind of sleeping medication, it pronounces the same, but its spelled different!
  • The entire debate is pointless unless Robertson can prove he has a successful product, and a winning business model. To take a example, there are enough worldwide clones of Coke, but only one Coke. Or for that matter, a name like Windows is as generic as one can possibly get, but that does not stop the success of the company/product.

    This should be seen as a step in the right direction, but more focus should be put on evaluating the distro itself, and the viability of the business.

  • ...doesn't Microsoft now also own the Trademark on "DOS" ?

  • \/\/1nD0\/\/Z ECKSPEE
    No Judge in the world could convict you of thievery!
    ...I don't know what's worse, windows, or a linux distribution trying to be windows?
  • Article: Robertson's message said it will take time to shift to a new name, because Lindows has thousands of Web pages and 100-plus computer servers.

    I'm sorry, but both of those numbers sound bogus, or the logic doesn't apply... If they are using database-backed dynamic pages, changing to a new name and domain should be rather easy.

    On a related topic, at http://support.lindows.com/ [lindows.com], the Knowledge Base they are using looks a like like ones I've seen in other sites, such as ximian's and Sierra's sites. I h
  • by Chromodromic ( 668389 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:01PM (#8794457)
    Lindows.com has been asking customers for name suggestions. Robertson said his favorite was that the new name be "Lindos" along with the slogan, "Because it's the W that is causing all the problems."

    Why is it so difficult to find decent software names? Why does Adobe have "Photoshop" and the open source community have "The Gimp", which literally means a person with a limp? Why is there "Oracle" and "SQL Server", one which is cool, both historically and as a product brand, and one which is straightforward and easy to remember (if nothing else), but the OS community as "PostgreSQL"?

    A lot of programmers in the Slashdot community take cheap shots at marketing and this is important, because extreme marketing types can be every bit as annoying as extreme nerds, but it would be nice if it was acknowledged that marketing is, actually, a legitimate discipline and that product naming is important.

    Lindos? So this is the BEST they can do?: Ask the community or drop the 'W'? Come on, guys. You came up with the software, why not make a legitimate effort to take the name seriously?

    Would you go around to all your friends to ask what to name your child? And if you couldn't come up with anything by taking a poll would you just, say, drop the 'H' in John, if that was your first name, and call it done? I mean let's face it, good software is a lot harder to make than a baby, for most of us anyway ...

    • Lindos? So this is the BEST they can do?: Ask the community or drop the 'W'? Come on, guys. You came up with the software, why not make a legitimate effort to take the name seriously?

      I don't know how serious the discussion were for the name change. However, I do know that around the southwest of the U.S.A., Lindos would be pronounced the same as Lindows [1]. Phonetically, at least, the name hasn't changed.

      1. I suspect this is due to the frequent [vowel]+'s' -> [vowel]+'es' problem with native Englis
    • marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MenTaLguY ( 5483 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:15PM (#8795415) Homepage
      When Inkscape forked from Sodipodi, we were fortunate enough to have folks with both solid technical and marketing/graphic design backgrounds, so we put a lot of thought into branding up-front, as well as the technical issues.

      That probably wouldn't have happened years ago -- "Inkscape" could just as easily have been named "VectorPIMP".

      There's a similar increase in Human Interface factors in recent OSS work. Classic projects like the GIMP are simply beholden to old (bad) UI and marketing decisions.

      So, just give it time. Things are improving.
  • 'because it's the W that is causing all the problems'

    We're talking about politics, right?

  • fo shizzle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:02PM (#8794486)
  • Kind of a shame (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:03PM (#8794492)

    At one point, Lindows had been taking the position that Lindows could not be infringing upon the Windows trademark, because Windows was itself an invalid trademark (already being a common term within the computer industry before MS started using it). I had really wanted to see how this played out. I think Lindows was correct on this assessment; MS was improperly granted a trademark on an already-existing term from that field. On the other hand, there is now so much business, brand recognition, and so forth built upon that trademark by now that the situation would be very difficult to correct, even if MS's hordes of attorneys failed to convince the judge to leave the situation be. The legal questions raised in that particular side of the case was what I was most interested in hearing the answers to, but now it's not something we're likely to see addressed.

  • linDOS? I though we were well past DOS.

    Seriously though, why don't they just give it some unique name and stop playing silly naming battles. I wish they'd focus on their product, and not silly legal battles that they KNEW they were inviting with their choice of name. Sure, it brought attention to their company, but get over it. Make it fast. Make it good. Name it "purple" if it makes you happy ... just stop raising the cost of building the product with lawsuits.
  • How about X-Lindows? I mean, it's should be sufficiently different for Microsoft not to claim trademark confusion [x.org] :-)
  • or has it been taken already? See Merriam-Webster [m-w.com] for how it is currently used in English.

    or some other foreign language word for Windows. The average american will have no idea what it means but that is ok, they still have blinking clocks on their VCR's as well.
  • There was a legal issue recently over a book, "Breaking the Da Vinci Code", whose author was sued because of potential name confusion, as in the Lin/Win case. Last I heard, the "Breaking" author only had to put a sticker on the book that says "A critical analysis of The Da Vinci Code".

    By that logic, can't Lindows do the same? Like put a nice gif on their front page saying "A free alternative to Microsoft Windows (insert lots of trademark symbols here)"?
  • The name is already taken.

    Lindos Electronics [lindos.co.uk] make high-end pro-audio test equipment. They have done for over 25 years.

  • This a good thing. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Krik Johnson ( 764568 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:15PM (#8794665) Homepage
    Lindows is very underated by the Slashdot community [anti-slash.org]. I got a free developers edition from OSnews [osnews.com] a while back. While it didn't include click and run in the free version, the whole operating system screamed I am Joe's Linux. Yes it rocked, yet most slashdotters don't try it because they heard that a beta version ran as root. Which is not the case. It tells you to make an account. Quite good, and I'm Glad Mandrake 10 has learn't from them because thats what I use now!

    Giving a more respectable name will give it a better reputation, and will make it more recognisable as a brand. Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE and Java Desktop all are famous Linux brands, Lindows will have to follow in their footsteps!

  • LinDOS? (Score:3, Funny)

    by nofx_3 ( 40519 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:17PM (#8794687)
    Uh oh, I don't think LinDOS would please Microsoft, they are going to complain it infringes on their DOS copyright. And besides, now all the techies are going to think its a dos emulator for linux or something. Since it will now be the D that is causing trouble I suggest they take out the D and become LinOS. But then MS will complain it sounds too much like WinOS or something. So I suggest the just change the name to L. Microsoft cannot complain at all about the L. You could even call the theL that would be kinda catchy.
  • by tbase ( 666607 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:18PM (#8794708)
    Gazziza Dilznoofus! Get with the crezappy power of Wiznitch OS... Wiznitch got tha upstate prison flavor that keeps you ugly all night long. So when you wanna get sick remember, nothing makes yo' feet stank like Wiznitch OS... DAMN! It's crezappy!!!"
  • by kenp2002 ( 545495 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:21PM (#8794743) Homepage Journal
    Windows has hit an all time low, Good bye they said to the resturant Rob Lowe's!

    "It's time to get them!" screamed 3M as they sue'ed their neighbors Aunt Em and IBM.

    Cargill's fighting just the same, It appears Hank Hill is in the chill.

    Burn those CDs Nero's dad said. Ahead get to burnin' but ahh then again. Now Bevis and Butthead are raging again, heard something something about thier big old heads.

    Who's next, The Not-So-Soft Concrete company? I might see, but Too close to Microsoft, tee-hee.

    Miramax and Cinamax, and Climax oh my, who will win that one, which one will die.

    Honda sues Fonda and Ford sues the Lord, Paul Ruben is suing sandwich shops in accord with clock but a tick but that can't be cuz of BiC who sue the tick-tock if the Stanley's did sue cuz of their locks!

    So how till Sony starts claim their ponies are phonies and sue dead Sonny for money cuz it's just not so funny while Cher start gearing for Sharepoint's ever pending sue fest and hearings on whether the only word that in english can be used is the single word...


    My insaine ramblings, not neccesarily ment to be poetry, littery going for the COMPLETLY INSAINE LUNATIC RAMBLING. Read with frequent outburst of anger and madness.
  • How about... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nsayer ( 86181 ) <nsayer@kfPASCALu.com minus language> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:08PM (#8795335) Homepage
    LindOs (put a line above the O). That way, it's pronounced exactly the same.
  • by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:24PM (#8795507)

    Whoa, I just realized how bad guys with speech impediments must hate this whole open source thing. Does any one high up in MS have one? Is the reason they gave IE away free that Ballmer got tired of the laughing when he said "Netscwape" in meetings?
  • by kaltekar ( 464545 ) <kaltekar AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:36PM (#8795645) Homepage

    SoSu Me :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:39PM (#8795682)
    "The Operating System Formally Known as Lindows"
  • by kortex ( 590172 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:46PM (#8795756)
    ...and call it Lindoze?
  • by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:39PM (#8797995) Homepage
    "Lindos" means "beautiful" in Portuguese.


In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.