WinInfo Daily UPDATE, April 6, 2004

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In the News

- Lindows.com Loses a Round; Judge Clears the Way for Microsoft
- Microsoft Preps New Office Suite...for the Mac

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Lindows.com Loses a Round; Judge Clears the Way for Microsoft

A federal judge ruled Friday that Microsoft can continue its trademark-infringement lawsuit against Linux-distribution maker Lindows.com, which had asked the judge to prevent the software giant from suing it outside the United States. US District Judge John Coughenour denied Lindows.com's request, stating that US courts have no reason to interfere with the jurisdiction of foreign courts unless they interfere with a company's constitutional rights. Legal experts say this makes sense because US companies are bound by the laws of the countries in which they do business.
Although Lindows.com representatives had no immediate comment, Microsoft expressed satisfaction with the decision. "We're pleased with the court's decision and believe this was a baseless effort by Lindows.com to avoid the jurisdiction of international courts, where they are in violation of local trademark laws," a Microsoft spokesperson said yesterday. "The goal of these actions is very simple; we're only asking that Lindows.com change their name and compete with a name that is distinctly their own and not such an obvious infringement of our trademark." Microsoft sued Lindows.com last year for trademark infringement, claiming that the name Lindows is too similar to Windows and causes confusion among customers. Lindows.com fired back, however, questioning the validity of Microsoft's trademark for Windows, a generic term that Lindows.com says shouldn't be covered by a mark. The court has twice pushed back the case for determining the validity of Microsoft's Windows trademark, most recently to the end of 2004. In the meantime, Microsoft has pursued the trademark-infringement claims overseas and in Canada and Mexico.
In January, Microsoft won a court ruling in the Netherlands that prevents Lindows.com from marketing its OS as Lindows in the Benelux countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The court also ordered that Lindows.com make its Web site unavailable in those countries, which the company says is impossible.

Microsoft Preps New Office Suite...for the Mac

Microsoft announced today that it will soon ship an innovative new version of its best-selling Office productivity suite. But the suite will run on Mac OS X systems only, not on the Windows PCs owned by more than 95 percent of the computer-using public.
Dubbed Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, the new suite consists of Microsoft Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004, and Entourage 2004, all of which feature slight improvements over earlier releases. Microsoft says it will release the suite to manufacturing on April 14 and ship it to US customers by late May. French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish versions will ship a few weeks later, according to the company.
"Customer feedback on early versions of Office 2004 for Mac has been overwhelmingly positive," Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU), said. "We are really excited to get it out the door and into the hands of our customers. The entire MacBU has been working hard through research, development, and testing to build a new version of Office for Mac that meets our customers' evolving needs. I couldn't be more proud of the talented team of Mac users in the MacBU."
Because of the Macintosh's unique market position, Office 2004 for the Mac addresses the educational and consumer-oriented scenarios its users typically encounter. Excel 2004 includes major charting improvements, and both Excel 2004 and Word 2004 include Smart Buttons, a new automation feature that's similar to Smart Tags in the Windows version of Office. PowerPoint 2004 includes more than 100 new professional templates and smoother transitions and animations.
Users who are interested in preordering Office 2004 for Mac can do so starting today. For more information about the software, visit the Microsoft Web site.
http://www.microsoft.com/mac

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