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Linux seller trims IPO price--again

Company soon to be formerly known as Lindows cuts IPO price range for second time in two weeks.

Linux seller Lindows has trimmed its planned stock price for the second time in two weeks, meaning that the company's market debut could generate less than half the payout originally anticipated.

In an amended registration statement filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Lindows--which will soon change its name to Linspire as a result of a legal settlement with Microsoft--said it expects shares to sell for $5 to $7 each.

The company originally set a range of $9 to $11 a share for 4.4 million shares, when it filed to go public four months ago, meaning that it could have raised up to $57.5 million. The target range was reduced to $9 to $7 a share last week and cut again Thursday. The company could now see a payout as low as $22 million.

MP3.com founder Michael Robertson launched Lindows three years ago to sell a version of the open-source Linux operating system with a look and feel similar to Microsoft's Windows.

Microsoft promptly sued the company, alleging that the name infringed on the software giant's Windows trademark. The ever-expanding dispute was finally settled last month, when Microsoft agreed to pay Lindows $20 million, and Robertson agreed to change the company's name to Linspire, a product name the company had already begun using in some overseas markets. The name change will become final by the Sept. 14 deadline set in the agreement.

While Lindows has generated significant publicity and legal attention, the company has a shakier record as a business. The initial registration statement charts a history of escalating losses and includes a statement from an independent auditor that "our historical losses and negative cash flows from operations raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

Lindows has not yet set a date for the offering, which will have the company trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "LINE."