Lindows Preps for IPO Despite Setbacks

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-04-20 Print this article Print

The developer of a Linux-based OS files registration papers for a public offering that could raise as much as $57.5 million, while battling legal challenges and continued financial losses.

Lindows Inc., fresh from changing the name of its flagship product, is preparing to go public as it struggles to earn a profit. The San Diego-based company on Tuesday filed an initial public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company did not pinpoint a date for the IPO but announced that it will conduct an auction-based stock offering process that is being co-managed by WR Hambrecht + Co. and Roth Capital Partners LLC. Lindows IPO plans follows operating losses every year since its founding in July 2001. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, Lindows lost $4.08 million on revenues of $2.07 million, according to its S-1 filing with the SEC.
The company is embroiled in legal struggles both in the United States and overseas with Microsoft Corp., which has accused Lindows of infringing on its Windows trademark. Lindows had sold its Linux-based operating system under its company name, but last week changed the product name to Linspire.
Click here to read about a recent court decision that allowed Microsoft to continue its foreign lawsuits against Lindows. Lindows could raise as much as $57.5 million from the IPO, money it would use to further distribution of its OS and other software, expand sales and marketing, develop more products and repay $10.4 million in outstanding debt to its founder, Michael Robertson, according to the SEC filing. Lindows is proposing a listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol "LINE." Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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