The news from MSNBC
is that Microsoft wants to, er, settle for the children. Take that
whichever way you want. They propose to settle civil anti-trust
cases (not the DoJ suit) with a $1.1 billion (retail value) spanking (they
have $36 billion in the bank), consisting of free computer goodies to our nation's poorest schools (the first hit's free, kids). I'm sure Microsoft will upgrade those old computers to keep them current, in perpetuity, for free, out of the kindness of their hearts, but in an apparent oversight that was left out of the news report. Of that $1.1 billion, $0.9 billion will be software presumably valued at whatever Microsoft wants to charge (see "monopoly"). For hardware and (laughable) training/support costs, Microsoft will be docked three weeks' worth of interest on their cashpile; they will seek matching funds for the remainder, I am not making this up. Some lawyers opposed this but "concluded that Microsoft's monopoly already is so pervasive that students would have to learn to use these products anyway in the workplace." Update: 11/20 21:22 GMT
: Heh. Red Hat offers an alternative
to Microsoft's settlement proposal - you provide hardware, we'll provide software.