Microsoft has extended its Lindows crusade to Canada, filing suit against the US-based company in Canadian court.

After suing in the US and several European countries, the software maker asked the Canadian courts to bar Lindows from using its name, arguing that it is too close to Windows and might confuse customers.

"In response to what is obvious infringement of our trademark Windows name, we have taken steps in Canada to curtail the misleading behavior on the part of Lindows.com," said a Microsoft spokesman.

Microsoft first sued Lindows.com in the US in December 2001. Since then it has lost two requests for an injunction barring Lindows.com from using its name. Earlier this month, Lindows.com claimed a victory when a US district court ruled that, were the case to come before a jury, it would instruct the jury to consider whether "windows" was a generic term before Microsoft introduced software with that name in 1985. Microsoft is appealing that ruling.

It has had more success in Europe though, where it has won injunctions in Sweden and Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. Lindows.com this week announced it would do business in those countries under a new name: Lind---s, pronounced Lindash.

Lindows.com CEO Michael Robertson, has characterized Microsoft as a bully, using lawsuits "as a battering ram to smash Linux." Lindows is the only viable desktop Linux offering and poses a significant threat to Microsoft's rule on desktop computers, Robertson asserted in an interview Thursday.

Microsoft, however, sticks to its statement that its grudge with Lindows.com is only about the company's name, a spokesman reiterating: "Our actions are only about their name. There are many Linux operating systems on the market using names that are distinctly their own and don't infringe on our trademark and we have no issue with those companies."

Robertson believes his company may have lost the cases in Europe because the term "windows" has no generic meaning in languages other than English, he said. That's different in the US and in Canada, he noted.

Microsoft has also claimed it won an injunction against Lindows.com in Finland. However, according to Lindows there currently is no legal barrier preventing Finnish citizens from buying from the company under its Lindows name.

Aside from its continuing legal news, Lindows.com also had some product news on Thursday. The company has added support for Intel's Centrino product for notebooks to its software. Centrino-based portable computers running LindowsOS Laptop Edition should be out within two months, according to Lindows.