Home > Legal > Microsoft pays to end Lindows suits Microsoft pays to end Lindows suits Eugenia Loli 2004-07-19 Legal 27 Comments Microsoft will pay upstart Linux seller Lindows $20 million to settle a long-running trademark dispute, according to a regulatory document filed Monday. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 27 Comments 2004-07-19 6:13 pm “..will give up the Lindows name and assign related Web domains to Microsoft..” This is good news for Linspire. BTW, I am curious about what Lindows’ financial numbers look like since the company started. I have heard that they lost a great deal of money, is this true? Anyone have some numbers on this? 2004-07-19 6:27 pm I hope the Lindows folks don’t settle. Don’t let Microsoft off the hook guys. 2004-07-19 6:52 pm Of course they will settle. MS has nothing to loose except in PR front. Lindows has a company to become bankrupt if the legal problems with MS continue (they can’t move to anywhere without be sued by MS)… This is the kind of cases where everyone gets hurt, and the little fish gets hurt a lot! (and the consumers are of course even more hurt). 2004-07-19 6:55 pm Lindows doesn’t has a lot of choice, because outside U.S., Microsoft has won many cases for force Lindows to use the different name. It’s better to settle with earn the money than Lindows decides to change the name for free when they get tired of have two different names. 2004-07-19 7:09 pm For the most part, they already lost the ability to use the Lindows name for their product. So for 20 mil they can sell off a domain they have little need for anyway, why wouldn’t they? As for MS not having a case.. Do I believe Lindows is a play on the Windows name? Yes. Linux + Windows = Lindows. 2004-07-19 7:10 pm this can be seen as a major victory against ms, the reason being, that Michael Robertson launced Lindows 4.5 as “Linspire” to get around European courts rulings against the Lindows company. Since then however, almost all places refer to Linspire than to Lindows, so in all reality, the Lindows name was all but dead any. And in agreeing to go the final step, Mr Robertson has got some decent cash for his company. Nice one ! Good luck in the future Linspire 2004-07-19 7:12 pm $20 million in the bank and tons of free (excluding legal fees) publicity. Lindows got a good deal if you ask me. 2004-07-19 7:20 pm They better take the money or Linspire will be out of business. They have 62 employees and sales for fiscal(and calender) year 2003 of 2.1 million. Their annual budget is around 15-16 million for the staff and rent and thats not counting most taxes and advertisment costs. They should take the money and exist for 1 more year and pray they get enough sales. That means they have to sell 400,000 copies of Linspire($50 each) every year in direct sales to retain the existing staff. While they do have other income sources, they are all small fry in the bigger scheme of things. http://www.hoovers.com/lindows/–ID__114392–/free-co-factsheet.xht… 2004-07-19 7:36 pm where did you get the 15-16mil figure ? I followed that link and did not see it anywhere… although I was not prepare to register. What I did see was the net income for last year was 4.1mil. Would you care to explain the discrepancies for non-accountants like me ? 2004-07-19 8:04 pm I found this SEC filing here. http://www.hoovers.com/free/co/secdoc.xhtml?ipage=2737684&doc=0&att… Do a find for the section “Summary Financial Data” Net loss: 2001 1,127,391 2002 6,656,212 2003 4,075,202 2004-07-19 8:11 pm Oh yes, and their net revenue for the 3 years combined was: 2,137,133 So Microsoft is giving them about 10 times their gross sales figures over the last 3 years. Pretty significant gain. 2004-07-19 8:17 pm Is this Linspire selling out to MS? Smells like it to me… disapointing to read, I had hoped the Michael and his crew would ride this out… but as what has become the norm, settlements…. left, reight and centre 2004-07-19 9:06 pm What I did see was the net income for last year was 4.1mil. Would you care to explain the discrepancies for non-accountants like me ? That included Venture Capitol Funds they were able to aquire. 2003 Sales (mil.) $2.1 2003 Net Income (mil.) $4.1 It costs a company about 250,000$ per employee per year on average(abeit crude) especially when you include the higher employment costs of programmers not to mention the Executive staff with their 6 figure salaries. Among the costs include employee salary, benefits, and when broken down per employee; rent/lease(it can cost up to 40$ per square foot per month here in Oakland,CA), State unemployment, insurance, equipment costs, office supplies, utilities, communications(ds3 lines can cost 30,000$ a month each), and not to mention a variety taxation by the city, county, state, feds and thats just for starters. Oh, figure on about 200 square feet per employee(you got to love those fire marshall codes). My last company had 3600 square feet for 18 employees and we didn’t even have a meeting room. 2004-07-19 9:16 pm This is 20 Million were talking about! You wouldn’t trade a few ideals(which linspire don’t neccesarily hold btw) for that kind of money? Get Real! 2004-07-19 9:29 pm Is Lunch money to Bill Gates and Microsoft gets what they want, Lindows gets some money to keep themselves afloat. Everybody wins. 2004-07-19 9:30 pm 250,000 may be steep (MS recently quoted this as their per employee cost BTW), but I agree with you that their SEC filing numbers may be off. With 62 employees they listed their net cost of operations as 3,793,187 in 2003. The math says that is about 61,000 per employee. McDonalds does not have a per employee cost that low. 2004-07-19 10:20 pm No I would not trade my ideals for money… The is more to life that $$ and I don’t get up in the morning for money…. I work at jobs that make me happy and I enjoy, even if it cost me. I do volunteering work for fire services, homeless shelters and anyone in need… Ideals should not have a price tag. Personally, if I sold my values for 20 mil, I am not worth a breathe. Selling your ideals really means you had none to start with. 2004-07-19 10:49 pm First I done think your religious ideologies have any place here. Second, the Lindows name is already a lost battle. They will get more money for their mileage spending the 20 million to make Linspire a more competitive product. 2004-07-19 10:58 pm who said anything about religion??? Its nothing to do with it. I think ones values should not be sold… thats hardly a religious statement Seriously.. if you think that values have a price tag, today is a sad day…. The fact is Linspire sold out to MS.. just like Sun and how many countless others??? Cementing the fact that MS can write a cheque and get out fo anything they want. 2004-07-20 2:20 am Well, spin it all you want, but looks like Microsoft was after the trademark, not after the allmighty OS. $20M can help Linspire to survive for long enough to try to become profitable. Actually, earlier Microsoft offered to cover all Lindows expenses of transition to Linspire- I wonder if it is included into $20M or is a separate payment. Linspire also proved that it is not after Microsoft or Evil Empire or Unpure Way of Programming for Living- but after the money like any sane for profit soon to be public corporation should be. I am also glad to know that Michael will be able to recoup his investments into Lindows, no matter what. Before that, according to IPO filings, significant part of funds collected for stock sold was supposed to go to Michael’s pockets as a compensation of his investments into Lindows: the most user friendly Linux distro he managed to create. It would not hurt to have enough end users willing to pay $50/annually or $100 one time to keep Lindows alive- but this is not in his control. If people believe in Lindows and Linux- Linspire will survive. If not- a visionary himsleft will not be left empty handed. It is all that matters: people getting credit where credit is due. 2004-07-20 3:12 am I don’t really understand what ideal we are talking about. To keep some particular name? 2004-07-20 7:53 am thanks BrazenRegent for explaining the figures a bit better. and RussianGuy, it was never about Lindows trying to destroy Microsoft. The whole idea of Lindows was to move Windows users over to Linux by giving them something that looked like/operated like/ Windows and was as compatible as possible with all the users files, of course that can be done with any version of Linux, but Lindows is supposed to be as simple as possible. It was also not about Microsoft trying to destroy Lindows, no matter what way Ballmer puts it, Microsoft needs Linux companies to exist. The Windows OS market would be stagnant at the minute if there was no competition. 2004-07-20 10:29 am Run the flash or download it. http://www.linspire.com/run_linspire.php There is two parts to it so let it run. Not bad. 2004-07-20 10:36 am The game is to stay alive. Linux can use a bit of Linspire marketing and contributions. If the ideal is to make linux more widely available and a better proposition, then what is the point of a linux vendor disappearing to save a worthless name ? 2004-07-20 12:43 pm Bad news, This this mean that MS will eventually own the word windows and the rest of us have to start calling them optical portals? 2004-07-20 1:25 pm It’s actually good that MS is fair enough to pay Linspire some money. Looks like Linspire is going to gain back all money that they lost on law suits. I have a bigger respect for MS now then before. 2004-07-20 5:06 pm How come when a Linux oriented company gets a big cash settlement everyone yells SELLOUT!!! Come on, Linspire just won a major victory. They also got 4 years rights to Windows multimedia codecs. Sun did the same thing and everyone thinks MS owns them now..when they beat Microsoft.