In the US,
we have the rule of "double jeopardy," which says you can't be tried
for the same offense multiple times. This is because putting defendants
through multiple identical trials is patently unfair - regardless of
the outcome. This is exactly what Microsoft is doing. They sued us
over the trademark in the U.S., where both companies reside, and we
have repeatedly prevailed. After about two years, they began suing us
in multiple foreign countries over the exact same issue, while delaying
the U.S. action. At about sextuple jeopardy, we had no choice but to
select a different product name internationally. (I had to look up
'sextuple' - it's not a word that I use every day, and it means 6
times.) The simple truth is that the sheer number of lawsuits launched by
the richest company in the world is tough for any company to withstand.
In addition to our victories in the United States, last week we
won our case in France when the Court in Paris rejected
Microsoft's demand for a preliminary injunction, but we must still
change our name - what a shame. This is not how the legal system is
supposed to work.
A: We'd like to take out full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, PC
World and eWeek, but our budget doesn't allow for that. We have
something even better planned though. For the next few days, we have a
special offer where you can receive a copy of Linspire, hot-off-the-presses for
free. That's right zero dollars. But there's a catch - actually two.
First, you must use a special coupon code. Simply click on $49.95
Linspire 4.5 OS from the order page.
Then click on the 'Apply Coupon' button and enter the coupon code. Second, the
download will only be available from our BitTorrent P2P system so our
servers don't melt. Don't worry if you've never tried BitTorrent. It
runs on Microsoft Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers and is easy to
get started. We'll give you step by step instructions. And no, it's not an oversight that I
haven't provided the actual coupon code. You'll have to guess what the one-word code is.
Today we're announcing our new name - Linspire. The new name
incorporates the notched L we are known for, 'Lin' from Linux and
'spire' which means pinnacle. More important than what people think of
the new name initially, is what they come to think of it over time. Few
people who hear "Motorola" think of radios for motor cars, but that's
the heritage of their name. Motorola's products and services now convey
much different meaning to consumers. Lindows will face the same
challenge with our new name. Most computer users have never experienced
Lindows, so we have a chance to make that all-important first
impression. We will work hard to make sure Linspire comes to stand for
affordability and choice as well as ease of use.
Now you probably have a lot of questions about the new name. Let me try to answer them below:
Q: Why are you changing the name everywhere instead of just the affected countries?
A: Two reasons. First Microsoft is asking courts to levy massive fines
just because users in certain foreign countries can access our website.
We can't afford to lose a battle on this topic. Second, we have
partnerships with hard disk, motherboard, laptop and desktop companies
that want to ship our products to their worldwide market. If they are
restricted to certain countries, then it impedes their business and
Q: Where will the Linspire name be used?
A: Our website name will change to Linspire. If someone types "lindows.com"
they'll automatically be taken to Linspire.com.
We'll migrate the thousands of web pages to the new website. It's a big
and costly job, but we'll do our best to minimize the impact to you.
We'll keep the great support area at support.linspire.com as well as
the most active forums in the industry!
Q: What does the new logo look like?
A: Scroll to the bottom of the page to see it.
Q: What happens to the Lindows.com website?
A: Most of the content will move to Linspire. Corporate information will
still be available at a new site, www.lindowsinc.com.
Q: Will the LindowsOS software change?
A: The functionality of the product will not change, but there will be
name changes throughout the product. A new version is now available
with the new name for you to download and install.
Q: Will the Lindows name still be used?
A: Yes, primarily in the US and as our corporate name. Since many
people know our company as Lindows, and there are hundreds of
stores with our products on their shelves, we will keep the name
Lindows as our corporate identity, and the product may be merchandised
under that name in the US. For some users the name lindows will have more value than ever.
Q: Is there any promotion related to the new name?
Q: Does this mean the end of the lawsuits?
A: We're hoping that this puts a halt on the international lawsuits.
A Microsoft spokesperson has publicly stated that "We're only asking
that Lindows change their name" which is what we have done. However,
the US lawsuit is well underway and we look forward to having our
day in court.
Q: What is the update on the US case?
A: Microsoft has appealed to the 9th Circuit. We are continuing to ask
for a prompt trial where the evidence can be heard by a jury. It's
unclear whether the Court of Appeals will grant Microsoft a
hearing or send it back to the original Judge who can schedule a trial
Q: Will my existing Lindows products still work?
A: Absolutely, and we'll stand behind any products you have purchased in the past.
Q: Do I need to upgrade to Linspire right away?
A: No, that is not necessary. Your copy of Lindows will still work and
interface with CNR, the Internet and everything else, you do not need
to upgrade. You will always be able to find the latest version of the
operating system in your my.linspire account, so you can upgrade
whenever you would like.
Q: Where will I find my downloads and account information?
A: CD downloads, account information, and all the other resources that
you are used to having in your my.lindows account can now be found at
Q: I am an OEM or Reseller, and I ship Lindows computers or software, what should I do?
A: You may continue shipping your existing inventory. For any new
products, you will want to use the new Linspire-branded product line.
Within the next week or two, there will be Linspire-branded products
for our entire line-up, including Linspire, Linspire OEM Edition,
Linspire Laptop Edition, Linspire Developer Edition and a
What do you think of the new name and logo? Are there any questions you have that I have not answered here? Sound off in the Linspire forums.