Based in San Diego, California, Lindows is a software company that's attempting to redefine what an operating system means to a computer user. This company made groundbreaking news, late in 2001, with a press release that stated it was "gearing up to deliver" an operating system that had the "...unique ability to run Linux and Windows software." This release was soon followed by a preview version of Lindows that promised to provided the world with a glimpse at what a Microsoft-free world could be like.
This revolutionary company was formed by Michael Robertson, who stepped down as the CEO of MP3.com to create and run Lindows.com. In his words, "Lindows.com is not about selling an operating system. It's not too different from needing a car. Nobody says, 'I need an engine,' they say,' I need a car' and most times, what they really mean is that they need transportation. It's the same with a computer. They're not buying an operating system or a Pentium III. Nobody needs an operating system, they need a solution which will help them communicate, entertain, educate, or get their work done."
Of course, Microsoft took notice and soon sent their lawyers after the company with various claims of ownership to the term windows. So, for the next year or so, Lindows was forced to hand over approximately 15,000 pages of sensitive information and prove that the word windows was generic, and thus not Microsoft's property. As of late 2002, Lindows successfully proved that Microsoft did not own this term, and that they even used the term in a generic sense. Or, as the courts put it, "Lindows.com has met its burden of proof in rebutting the validity of the Windows trademark." However, and despite being told three times that they had no case, Microsoft is still trying to stop Lindows from using any form of the word windows.
As Lindows evolved from an idea to a reality, it has changed direction. This shift is due to the fact that getting Windows software to operate reliably under Linux is "extremely difficult" and that there is "...no help available from Microsoft and the other major software developers to get MS Windows programs running." So, instead of focusing on trying to make Microsoft programs work in Lindows, and thus providing a common operating system for both Windows and Linux users, the CEO has determined to recreate a new and improved alternative to Windows that "...is not about selling [just] an operating system." Instead, Lindows wants to provide "...a solution which will help [users] communicate, entertain, educate, or get their work done."
Now that we've covered the history and purpose of this latest in operating systems, let's take a closer look at the internals of Lindows.