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Lindows flotation postponed

Lindows, the Linux-based software developer best known for its legal battles with Microsoft, has indefinitely shelved its plans...

Lindows, the Linux-based software developer best known for its legal battles with Microsoft, has indefinitely shelved its plans to become a publicly traded company.

Lindows has not withdrawn its registration statement from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and hopes to proceed with the initial public offering (IPO) at a future date once market conditions and public company valuations improve, the company said.

The company filed its IPO application with the SEC in April, but it announced last week that it had lowered the expected price range for its shares. It had planned in July to sell 4.4 million shares at between $9 (£4.92) and $11 a share, but lowered that range to between $7 and $9.

Founded in July 2001, the desktop Linux specialist shipped its first product in January 2002 but has been renowned primarily for its two-and-a-half-year trademark dispute with Microsoft over the similarity of the LindowsOS product name to Windows.

In July, Lindows agreed to change its legal name to Linspire by 14 September and to end the use of the Lindows name in its products in exchange for $20m from Microsoft.

The company had already formally changed the name of its desktop operating system to Linspire in April because of the legal battle, which began in December 2001 and included actions in the US, Canada, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

"With its Microsoft legal issues behind it, the company's primary focus should be on building awareness around the new name and building enthusiasm for its products," said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst at Jupiter Research.

In 2003, Lindows reported revenue of $2.1m, up from a mere $63,131 in 2002, and said it had been able to reduce its net loss to $4.1m in 2003, from $6.7m in 2002.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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