Again, the money will be made available in the form of money-off vouchers to all those that bought Microsoft software over the seven-year timeframe January 1996 to January 2002. Consumers have to apply for the vouchers and half of any unclaimed money will go to schools.
The settlement comes in a lawsuit alleging that Microsoft had violated Massachusetts' consumer protection and unfair competition laws. By settling, Microsoft can again claim that it is not guilty of abusing its monopoly position with regard to the Windows operating system.
While this makes it the thirteenth state class action that Microsoft has settled (Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington DC and West Virginia), Massachusetts is the lone state still appealing the federal court anti-trust settlement and this class-action settlement does not affect that case.
Still outstanding are lawsuits in New Mexico, Iowa, Nebraska and Vermont. Appeals against declined lawsuits are ongoing in New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan.