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Consumers get $180 million in Microsoft settlement, lawyers get $75 million

Microsoft has settled its long-running antitrust case in Iowa. The lawsuit, which was initially filed in 2000, claimed that Microsoft was involved in anticompetitive business practices which in turn resulted in higher prices for consumers.

The lead plaintiffs in the case, Des Moines lawyer Roxanne Conlin and Minneapolis lawyer Richard Hagstrom will receive $75 million in legal fee and expenses as a result of the settlement -- a record for the state of Iowa.

The $75 million in fees represent a bill rate of $575 an hour for each of the 150 lawyers, clerks and paralegals involved in the case. Over a seven year period, 117,000 hours were logged in relation to the case. The individual rate for Conlin and Hagstrom works out to $1,072 dollars per hour. The payout for the two lawyers also includes a 43 percent risk premium which was approved by a Polk County district judge.

While the lawyers will receive $75 million, Iowans will receive $179.95 million -- $330 million was originally requested. Microsoft will dish out $10, $16, $25 and $29 respectively for Word/Works/Home Essential, Windows/DOS, Excel and Office. Individual consumers can claim up to $200 without a proof of purchase, however, any amount exceeding $200 must be backed with supporting documentation.

Iowa consumers will receive their settlements in checks from Microsoft while businesses and government bodies will receive pay vouchers.

Some Iowans aren't happy with the settlements they are receiving in relation to the payout reserved for lawyer fees. "How in the name of all that is sacred can you even imagine that to be equitable?" inquired Parkersburg resident Betty Klingenbord. "I also do not like how this makes Iowa look. Where will these lawsuits end?"

The settlement covers Iowans who purchased Microsoft software between May 18, 1994 and June 30, 2006. Customers who wish to receive their reimbursements from Microsoft must do so before the December 14 deadline.



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RE: Hrm....
By A5un on 9/4/2007 2:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

I think we all agree (maybe except for a few) that Windows XP right now is still better than Windows Vista. The issue with Vista is it's compatibility. Now you may argue that's not the OS' fault, but a car that's incompatible with any tire can hardly be a car. MS is limiting consumer's choice, and not only that, but forcing us to buy an currently inferior product. Legality aside, I think this is a completely irresponsible act.

And please stop with the computers aren't essenstial crap. You know it as well as I do that computers today are entirely essential. And that is that. You try using a type writer or hand-write a report and still remain competitive to fellow co-workers. Sure computers aren't essential to our survival in the sense that water and food are essential to our survival, but they are extrememly essential to our maintaining our competitiveness in this society.

Good thing we still have companies like Lenovo or Acer that still offer Windows XP machines.


RE: Hrm....
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 2:37:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think we all agree (maybe except for a few) that Windows XP right now is still better than Windows Vista. The issue with Vista is it's compatibility.

Sorry, that's not true. Vista can run XP apps and drivers. Some apps have to be run in admin mode because they do naughty things that violate newer security initiatives in Vista.
quote:
And please stop with the computers aren't essenstial crap. You know it as well as I do that computers today are entirely essential.

Wrong, computers might be essential, but Windows-based PCs are not. Any "essential" task can be done on a Windows-based PC, a Mac, a Linux-based machine, or any one of a number of other less popular types of computers.

I'm personally glad that XP is still offered by some for those of you who prefer that "retro" look, LOL. I'm on Vista 100% for over a year, and I would hate to go back. After you've got used to the improvements in Vista, XP completely sucks by comparison.


RE: Hrm....
By Munkles on 9/4/2007 3:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
This is very true.

Some things do take a little adjusting to but I would never go back to xp as my primary OS. I think you will find the majority of users who have Vista, and the appropriate hardware for the experience to say the same.

Not EVERY xp based program will work in Vista even with running in xp mode, and running as the admin. That said, those titles are very few and far between. Vista has excellent legacy support and if you don't think so you would fall under the "doesn't know how to use the OS" category.

Tomz does have a point, if you ARE one of those companies that uses software that WILL NOT WORK for vista no matter what, you will probably also have a volume license for xp and can keep it installed for as long as you wish, on just about any machine you wish.

Just please don't try to make vista into something it isn't. Vista isn't made for 16teraflop super computers, nor is it meant for server farms. Its meant for end users like you and me to use at home, or in the office for maximum usability, security, functionality, and to be pretty to boot.


RE: Hrm....
By Nekrik on 9/4/2007 7:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
With Vista Enterprise you can also run XP in a virtual machine, so you don't actually have to keep a physical machine around to keep any LOB apps you might need.


RE: Hrm....
By Pythias on 9/13/2007 7:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And please stop with the computers aren't essenstial crap.


Computers aren't essential. neither are automobiles, cellphones, or mass tort lawyers.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA











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