Microsoft, Mississippi settle Windows suit

Microsoft will pay $40 million to the state and up to $60 million in vouchers to settle a class-action suit over the pricing of Windows and Office.

Microsoft and the state of Mississippi said Thursday that they have reached a settlement in a class-action suit over the pricing of Windows and Office. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will pay $40 million to the state and up to $60 million in vouchers to consumers, businesses, schools, and local governments.

The deal is similar to the many settlements that Microsoft struck with states in years past.

Those in Mississippi who purchased Microsoft products or computers containing Microsoft products between January 1, 1996, and Thursday will be eligible to receive a voucher of $12 or $5, depending on which products were purchased. The vouchers can be used toward the purchase of any software or hardware product.

Products eligible for the $12 vouchers include three older Windows versions--Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME. Among those that qualify for the $5 vouchers are Office (or components such as Word and Excel), MS-DOS, Windows 1.xx-3.xx Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

If not all the vouchers are claimed, Microsoft will pay up to an additional $8 million to the state.

"Microsoft is pleased to reach this resolution with the State of Mississippi and with our customers in Mississippi," said Steve Aeschbacher, Microsoft associate general counsel. "We look forward to working with the state on issues of mutual concern going forward."

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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