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Linspire

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.

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 therefore ours.

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?

Get Linspire for free using our P2P system!
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.

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 date.

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 my.linspire.com.

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 Spanish-language Linspire.

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.

-- Michael


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