The Lite Side

Lindows Ruling Has Microsoft Scrambling to Claim Consonants

- 2002.05.20

SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF WASHINGTON STATE: Following an extraordinary ruling by a Seattle judge, Microsoft has decided to head off future claims on other variants of the *indows trademark by registering every other consonant in the alphabet.

"Apple Computer has demonstrated that a command of the subset of the alphabet is a powerful marketing tool," said Stephanie Brockmeister, Microsoft's Assistant Coordinator of Trademarks. "The introduction of the new eMac, iMac and other vowel-based computers) led us to the natural conclusion that other forms of Windows starting with the other unclaimed letters of the alphabet are fair intellectual property waiting to be claimed."

Consequently, according to Brockmeister, the Redmond, Washington based software giant is going to use consonant-based Windows trademarks to label the myriad stripped down versions of Windows that the software giant must generate to satisfy the terms of its antitrust suit with nine states, leftover from the original federal and multi-state suit which concluded that Windows was, in fact, an illegal monopoly and must be broken up into components.

Although complete plans were not available at press time, Brockmeister distributed a list of potential *indows variants using every consonant in the alphabet (except L, of course) and what the company plans to do with them.

  • Bindows: This version of Windows works only in binary mode for über-geeks. There aren't any windows, per se, just binary digits on the screen. "It'll look like War Games, during the part of the movie where the game's about to crash," said Brockmeister.
  • Cindows: This version will be marketed exclusively in Cincinnati.
  • Dindows: This version will come with a Dolby surround-sound speaker set and no volume control.
  • Findows: Sold only in Finland.
  • Gindows: Licenses include a free certificate for the local BeerWineGin emporium.
  • Hindows: Operates with a special large two button mouse which you sit upon. (Hint: "Hind" rhymes with "kind")
  • Jindows: Boot this up and your data disappears, just like magic.
  • Kindows: Legal to give copies to your relatives.
  • Mindows: Free to residents of Ork.
  • Nindows: Special version has all black screen with all black letters and comes with complimentary set of ninja movies.
  • Pindows: Stripped down version that runs on a chip that fits on a head of a pin. How many copies of Windows can dance on the head of a pin?
  • Qindows (possibly Quindows): Shareware version released in China to help combat piracy.
  • Rindows: Special Scooby Doo version of Windows. (ironically, "Windows" doesn't translate to "Rindows.")
  • Sindows: Only runs screen savers you really shouldn't let anyone else see what's on your screen.
  • Tindows: Also comes with complimentary Liondows and Scarecrowdows.
  • Vindows: We do a little bowling, and we use a little Vindows. (10 points if you can guess what that refers to.)
  • Xindows: Formal name, which is abbreviated X-box.
  • Yindows: Packaged with Yangdows.
  • Zindows: I don't know . . . what do you think's in those?

Also, the company is looking into dipthong-based marketing, as in:

  • Spindows: Used for speechwriting in political offices.
  • Schmindows: Sold only in New York.
  • Trinidows and Tobagoes: For isolated island-based computing.
  • Blindows: Braille version for blind users,
  • Skindows: Registration for Passport is a barcode tattooed for free on your forehead.

With a concerted effort and a few user-based contests, the company thinks it can name all 9 million Windows variants it is going to have to produce to settle the pending litigation in state jurisdictions.

Currently, Microsoft is investigating alphabets other than English for foreign trademark registration.

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