In which Lindows, which already was in the process of changing its name to Linspire, receives $20M USD from Microsoft for a baker’s dozen of domain names and a corporate and product name change which was a fait accompli. The net result? Bill Gates is subsidizing a rival who has its eyes on the desktop OS prize, says the author.
Linspiration Technology: What’s in a Name?
Submitted by Terry C. Shannon 2004-07-28 Linspire 19 Comments
At least Mike Rowe got an xbox.
If the product involves Lindows(Linspire), I don’t want to know about them. THEY SOLD OUT!!!!
Never mind the fact that it made business sense. They had Microsoft on the ropes and they let them go. So Robertson’s soul is worth 20 Million. . . .
At least we know he wasn’t in it for the principle but for the money. I have lost my respect for this company; I don’t care what the heck they invent.
We live in a capitalist based society on this side of the pond!
They didn’t have MS on the ropes, they would have had to build and ship 2 versions because of the European cases. They _already_ lost the Lindows name.
Did you read the article?
Linspire can do much more to fight MS with that 20 mil than they could be keeping a PTR record for the Lindows domain name.
They sacrificed a pawn to acquire a queen. Your opinion demonstrates the strategic ability of an angry goldfish.
Michael Robertson has made quite a lot of money, gained worldwide press for the company and built up a bad (good?) reputation for being a thorn in the side of Microsoft. Remember the huge prize for figuring out how to run Linux on an unmodded X-Box?
I doubt he is through yet. Microsoft settled their own suit. That doesn’t mean that he won’t do something else just as bod or worse with that $20 mil. Could Winspire be next?
$20 mil to the first one out of the box…
I can’t believe anyone would say Robertson “sold out” by taking $20 million for 13 domain names and a company name. Read the article. It’s excellent. The irony is beautiful. Microsoft sues Lindows for name. Lindows settles for $20 million. Lindows uses $20 million to further gain marketshare on Windows.
I don’t think Linspire will ever be the preferred Linux distro of choice, but it sure does great marketing for Linux in terms of getting it to be known, getting a (cheap) alternative out there. The more boxes running Linux, the more people get interested in an alternative desktop OS.
Michael Robertson has proven himself to be quite a good businessman with so little investment and drawing a lot of media mileage. There’s something we can learn from him.
Bill Gates is subsidizing a rival who has its eyes on the desktop OS prize, says the author.
Haha, that is hilarious. A rival, yeah…I’ve got a bridge to sell this guy.
I may not like some of his business tactics and I certainly do not like “Michael’s Minute”. I do however like the fact that he has poured money into tons of projects, IIRC Lindows/Linspire has donated more money than anyone else to KDE and have started coding their own open source software. If this isnt giving back to the community, I dont know what is.
Check it out at the Linspire forums https://forum.linspire.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=254607
The thing is that they couldn’t really use the Lindows name more anyway, since they lost it in many other countries, and new MS would start new lawsuites in new countries if they had tried to continue pushing it.
In addition to that, Lindows was a company that certainly can make use of an extra $20M. If they would continue to make the same loss as last year this money would still keep them afloat for another 5 years!
Those who think that Michael sold his soul etc… well – how can you make a product that is to take on MS domination, without money? You can’t. Now Linspire can and after the IPO they will be even more able.
Absolutely, Misrosoft got their feet between the door in Linux OS market and could (ab)use its technology once again, keep seemingly the competition in, so they are not to say a monopoly and subsequently kill off the Linux market share.
And I’ll say it again here. Linspire did a good thing by settling with M$. With plans to go public, Linspire had to make some smart business decisions. How successful do you think an IPO would be if there was a HUGE lawsuit looming over you by one of the biggest bullies in the software industry? Here’s the answer… not very successful. Listen, linux press is a huge win for ALL linux disros. The fight isn’t between the different linux flavors, it’s between linux and M$. Plus, to anyone who thinks Linspire is a bad distro…. I challenge you to install it and use it. Be sure to purchase a Click N Run membership as well. Then come to me and tell me that it isn’t a wonderful desktop replacement for Windows. Anyone saying it’s subpar after actually using it is someone who has a skull that hasn’t fully hardened. ‘Nuff said…
In terms of installing software, Linspire is probably a good distro. It is subpar for many people because you do not have the freedom to easily add your own software… apt in this case but it often breaks things, doesn’t add to menus etc. In addition they offer no way for higher level configuration, like sharing an Internet connection. IMHO if they ported yast or mandrakes config system they would have a MUCH stronger distro. I wonder why so many small distros reinvent the wheel when great config utilities already exist… MEPIS, Libranet, etc.
Unfortunately Lindows were never going to win this. Not because they had no case; I think they were spot on (windows has been a generic computing term for so long it’s a sick abuse to trademark it IN computing) but because Microsoft would have just poured more and more money at the lawyers and Robertson made a lot of money from mp3.com but he wouldn’t want to spend it all on lawyers fighting a pointless fight. Here he gets to use the name they’ve already settled on, they get a fairly large amount of money (in terms of Lindows the company) and can move on.
I’d imagine $20mill will buy security for the company for a few years at least.
Well… I do not think that the 1600 year history of the word “window” has much bearing on the case, but I am pretty sure that every computer I used that had these rectangular shapes on screen which displayed application interfaces always called them “windows”. I am pretty sure that makes “windows” generic as of 1985.
This goes back almost a decade, but I found the event to be interesting. DEC and Microsoft had cut their “Alliance for Enterprise Computing” deal and DEC’s former A.I. lab in Valbonne, France was being renamed the joint DEC / Microsoft European Briefing Center. Naturally a big deal was made of this, so I decided to fly over and watch the show.
Gates waxed eloquent about the glories of Microsoft, and then took questions from the audience. This was the first time I’d actually seen the guy, much less spoke with him, and I can assure you he’s not stupid. He handled every question that was fired at him with a response that must have been way over the questioner’s head. Not BS, just very technical.
I decided I might as well ask a question, too. Again, this is around 1995. Linux is known to exist, and has already been ported to Alpha. In an effort to be diplomatic, I didn’t ask the man if he thought Linux would trounce Windows; I asked if he felt Linux might impact commercial UNIX desktops (e.g. Solaris).
Gates’ answer rendered it evident that he hadn’t a clue what Linux was. I’m sure he took a crash course, but it was ironic to have been the only person in the room who could stump His Gatesness. Equally ironic that the man seemed unaware of the OS….
when sarge goes stable linspire is going to be great. at the moment i have to say that i think xandros is a bit tighter and less problematic.