Lindows takes a step in the right direction; changes name to Linspire

Posted by dave on Apr 14, 2004 5:01 AM EDT
LXer; By Dave Whitinger
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If I started a new automobile company, and called it Daverolet, and marketed my product as a replacement for Chevrolet, that would be dishonest and shady. And, if I made a distro, marketed it as a replacement for Windows, and called it Dindows, that would be the exact same thing. There is no difference, and it smacks of used-car salesmanship techniques. I have always been nauseated to see Lindows show up in my pending stories queue.

The name Lindows is lame. It was when they first started using it, and it still is today. Even without the silly court battles about whether or not Microsoft is trying to "crush" Linux by preventing Lindows from using that name - it's still a "lame name" and today's announcement that the name is starting to change comes as welcome news to your editor. In fact, I couldn't be happier.

If I started a new automobile company, and called it Daverolet, and marketed my product as a replacement for Chevrolet, that would be dishonest and shady. And, if I made a distro, marketed it as a replacement for Windows, and called it Dindows, that would be the exact same thing. There is no difference, and it smacks of used-car salesmanship techniques. I have always been nauseated to see Lindows show up in my pending stories queue.

In the Linux community, we have a long-standing tradition of respecting other people's names and reputation, even if they belong to the Redmond gorilla or some other "Evil Corporation(tm)". When Michael Robertson (of mp3.com fame) entered the Linux community, he displayed his ignorance of this community's rules of etiquette when he named his product Lindows.

Thankfully, market pressures have forced a name change. Today in a press release, Michael announced that their distro is being renamed to Linspire. Unfortunately, they will keep their US corporation name, Lindows Inc, because they have "meaningful name recognition and product distribution." Michael said, "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."

Well, whatever the reason, this is a step in the right direction, but it's not enough. If Lindows^H^H^H^Hspire is truly a unique product, then it needs a unique name and a unique company name behind it.

There's a lesson for all of us: Let's never again leverage someone else's brand as a shortcut for our marketing efforts. The method stinks and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of everyone who is affected.

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» Read more about: Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Linspire, LXer, Microsoft

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Your analogy isn't a valid one... HansNFrance 5 1,678 Apr 16, 2004 9:53 AM

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