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Microsoft Government The Courts News

Details of Microsoft's Settlement With Iowa 96

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
dringess writes "As reported on Yahoo, Microsoft has settled the suit brought by the State of Iowa. Individuals can collect $16 for each copy of MS-DOS or Windows purchased from 1994-2006, while Office nets $29. No proof of purchase required! Now I can finally get some money from Microsoft!" Here is our original coverage of the settlement.
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Details of Microsoft's Settlement With Iowa

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  • by Brad1138 (590148) * <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:14PM (#18789777)
    Afford a PS3... Oh, you said "Purchased", nevermind.
    • by Rukie (930506)
      I'm curious how many people will take the 16 bucks. I'm more curious as to whether or not Microsoft will pay up immediately, and how many checks/letters will be undelivered.
      • Oh come on.. they're not going to cheat people out of $16 measly dollars. They've got no reason to. They've got billions and billions in the bank and the consequences of not complying is just not worth it.
        • hahaha, what consequences? M$ could walk through a shit storm and not get a drop on them, they're going to double screw Iowa I reckon.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)
        "Pay to the order of: Iron Balls McGinty... sixteen dollars and NINE CENTS!"
  • No proof of purchase required! Now I can finally get some money from Microsoft! I'm going to Iowa just so I can get this cash from M$.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Iowa will provide Microsoft with 1 million ears of corn per year for the next 10 years.
    • by DiEx-15 (959602)
      Yes you are right! Because Iowa is the black hole of Technology and IT Jobs! Where am I? You guessed it! The paleolithic BFing nowhere state itself - IOWA.

      _____
      "It's not the fact you fail that makes you an idiot. It's the number of times you repeatedly do it before you realize it won't work that makes you an idiot!"
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      So they traded .000000001% of Iowa's corn for .000000001% of Microsoft's earnings?

      (Actually, according to this [hpj.com], Iowa produced 2.16B bushels of corn in 2005. An average bushel is 90,000 kernels, and an average ear produces ~500 kernels, so that's 180 ears per bushel, or ~390B ears of corn produced. So 1M ears would be ~0.00026% of Iowa's yearly production.)
  • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:18PM (#18789821) Journal
    I can prove that I bought a copy of Windows 98! My registration key is

    FCKGW....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mayhem178 (920970)
      FCKGW-RHQQ2-YXRKT-8TG6W-2B7Q8

      Christ, is it bad that I can recite that from memory?

      (Joke-buster: this is a Windows XP VLK, not a Windows 98 key)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:37PM (#18790845)
        I used to work for Gateway, Win XP CD's with product keys beginning with FCKGW were our reward for going through the XP training back in the day (Pre-launch). We were wondering if Microsoft was trying to tell us something with those 5 letters...
      • by shaitand (626655)
        You used a key for 98se? I had a patched copy that literally installed without a keycode. In a tech shop we had to reinstall win98se constantly, as long as we knew the customer owned a valid license we didn't need to get them to find their code.

        If we did find the code, it takes 20 seconds to put it in the registry. A good way to get around the restrictions on OEM copies as well. Most of those restrictions are technical, not legal.
    • by antdude (79039)
      That's for XP, not 98. :)
    • by aybiss (876862)
      Yes I've owned about a thousand of those in my time. I'd like my $16,000 please. I also 'own' numerous educational and corporate editions of Office. Are those worth more?
    • I might be dating myself here but anyone remember 11111-11111-11111-11111?
      • by Verteiron (224042)
        I know that used to work for Visual Studio. Did it ever work for Windows, too?
        • Actually it was either....

          Ten Digit
          111-1111111

          Eleven Digit
          1112-1111111

          Worked with ANY microsoft product that was asking for a 10 or 11 digit product code. Worked for VS, Office 97, etc...
  • What about upgrades? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    DOS->Win95->Win98->Win2k->WinXP is $80 dollars but ditch one, claim $29 for office and use the vouchers to purchase parallels for Mac :-) They should offer a special bundle of desktop and compressor for the $93 settlement.

    Or are the vouchers only redeemable against MS software?
    • by frdmfghtr (603968)

      DOS->Win95->Win98->Win2k->WinXP is $80 dollars but ditch one, claim $29 for office and use the vouchers to purchase parallels for Mac :-) They should offer a special bundle of desktop and compressor for the $93 settlement.

      Why waste MS's money when Desktop comes with Compressor?
  • As a confirmed OO user, I dont think I will get any money. But hey two PCs I bought had 30 day trial version of the software. Does it count? May be MSFT will say, ok how about a Stored Value Card with 16$ in it that expires in 30 days ;-)
  • Settle != guilty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by psaunders (1069392) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @06:35PM (#18790043)
    Now remember kids, the mere action of settling does not technically constitute any kind of admission on Microsoft's part. More accurately, the state of Iowa caught Microsoft and their lawyers on a day when they were feeling generous.

    In all seriousness though, how does something like this happen? Will other states follow suit (pun partially intended) for similar benefits?

    • by RelliK (4466) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:08PM (#18790499)
      Now remember kids, the mere action of settling does not technically constitute any kind of admission on Microsoft's part.

      Iowa relied on the federal antitrust ruling of 2000 which already found Microsoft to be an abusive monopolist. The Iowa's case was only about how much Microsoft has to pay as a compensation for breaking antitrust laws.

    • Re:Settle != guilty (Score:4, Informative)

      by Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @07:46PM (#18790991)
      Well, the Federal Government says that they absolutely, positively are a monopolist. And they were convicted so it's a forgone conclusion whether they admit to it or not.

      California settled a year or two (or three) ago. I got a nice shiny check for $78 dollars just for filling out a single form and mailing it in. Didn't require many details beyond the number of copies purchased.

      So if there are any Iowans out there, warm up your pens. It's worth doing, not to mention very satisfying.
      • by Jeff Carr (684298)

        So if there are any Iowans out there, warm up your pens. It's worth doing, not to mention very satisfying.

        I agree wholeheartedly, starting now... Wait, you said pens!?! Ooohh... never mind, simple mistake.
      • by wellingj (1030460)
        odd....I just moved from MT to Iowa....
        Apperently 'sticking it to the man' follows me where ever I go.....
      • by Eddi3 (1046882)
        I read that as "Warm up your penis."

        Although, getting money from Microsoft does seem rather Orgasmic ;-)
    • No, Microsoft settled because the publicity was getting bad. Once settled, the website called iowaconsumercase.org was changed so that a bunch of damaging documents were hidden.

  • I wish I was in Iowa. I have original discs for at least a dozen copies of Windows, and almost as many copies of Office. I'm sure I even have receipts for at least half of those.
  • ... Seems to me people should start billing MS for any time and resources they have wasted in dealing with teh software, regardless of the double standard licensing. (we, MS, get everything and you get no garentee of anything)
  • I mean, after all the suit was filed because MS abused their monopoly to charge more for their product than they're worth (or something along this lines). Ok, let's look at the competitive products.

    MS-Office. Biggest competitor: Open Office. Price difference: Whatever MS-Office costs.

    Windows. Biggest competitor: Well, since MacOS isn't available by itself (afaik), let's take Linux. Price difference... I think you get the idea.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)
      If Microsoft has monopoly power, they ain't equivalents. If they are equivalents, Microsoft ain't got a monopoly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 644bd346996 (1012333)
        Well, Microsoft has had a monopoly for far longer than any free operating system has been on par with desktop features. In the early and mid 90's, Microsoft was a monopoly. Microsoft has retained that monopoly even in the face of competition by erecting artificial barriers to switching away from MS. Microsoft has abused their monopoly position by willfully making it harder for users to migrate their data (and, to a lesser extent, programs) to other systems.

        Because Microsoft has control over the data formats
        • by maxume (22995)
          My point was more that using software available now probably isn't the best way to put a value on behavior that occurred ten years ago.
        • Microsoft has retained that monopoly even in the face of competition by erecting artificial barriers to switching away from MS.

          You misspelled "By adding these things called 'features'." Hope ths helps.

      • *sigh*

        It's not a monopoly in the true sense. It is a market position that allows them to force their views and ideas onto the market and customers, colloquially called "monopoly".

        Why is it that every time the MS "monopoly" is being discussed someone pipes in "but there are actually alternatives so it is no monopoly". If it smells like shit, it is shit. It has every quality of a monopoly, but maybe you'd have a better term for it that describes it more accurately without wrapping it in enough meaningless lab
        • by maxume (22995)
          *even bigger sigh*

          I was piping in that it doesn't make any sense to use comparisons between today's software to calculate the punishments for yesterday's behaviors. Especially if they aren't even equivalents yet.

          (and basically yes, there is a better explanation for the success of Windows and Office: it's really cheap. Sure, software that is free is even cheaper, but as long as people have the perception that Windows is better for them, they will pay for it, because it is cheap. That Microsoft did every damn
  • Interesting to see how much some of those copies are, xp is still pretty pricey i believe and you only get 16 for it.
  • Does this mean that for older copies of windows, we get money for them? Do we have to send them in? Or do we just get paid for having bought older copies of windows?
  • From TFA - Companies with multiple copies can seek vouchers that will enable them to buy computer equipment and software. I assume that means Microsoft hard/software. So how does this hurt Microsoft? Nothing like encouraging vendor lock-in.
  • Hilarious! It's almost like getting paid for using a ripped-off copy of Windows for all those years.
  • This was a class-action lawsuit not a state antitrust case. The only thing the State of Iowa had to do with it was that it was in the Iowa court system.
  • MS PR ploy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by krbvroc1 (725200) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @10:09PM (#18792689)
    "Under the settlement, Microsoft will provide half of any unclaimed proceeds to the Iowa Department of Education to bridge the digital and technical divide in Iowa schools through the purchase of computer hardware and software."

    Great...So the next generation can suffer too... This settlement is nothing more than an MS backdoor into the school system. Why use OSX or Linux when we have a pile of MS stuff here in this box...
    100,000 copies of XP which will do longer be supported Dec 2008 anyone?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm going to claim the money I am eligible for (two Windows and two copies of Office on two Dell laptops I bought) plus I'm going to claim the money the restaurant/bar I'm part owner of (5 copies of Windows and one copy of Office on the cash register computers and the server that runs them)

      I'm also going to tell everyone I know about the site once it is up and make sure they go there and claim the money they are entitled to and tell them to tell their friends, etc. If word gets around and this is publicize
    • Why use OSX or Linux when we have a pile of MS stuff here in this box... 100,000 copies of XP which will do longer be supported Dec 2008 anyone?

      The proceeds are monetary; they are not copies of Windows.

  • The revelations from that lawsuit, and the private emails and memos that were entered into the record and made available on the web, must have been incredibly damaging for Microsoft to be willing to make the case go away by paying actual cash. Remember, these things usually get settled for worthless coupons. It's possible the lawyers were about to subpoena evidence that Microsoft really isn't willing to expose to the light of day.
  • by Slurgi (892128)
    The question now is how do I file to get my refund? Is there any website with any sort of directions?
  • I get to buy a tank of gas... wait no I don't. Let see here, paid $200, get $16 back? I don't see exactly how this punishes Microsoft. I understand how there are a lot of people that use MS, and they'll end up paying a fairly large sum; but to each individual it doesn't even come close to how they were ripped off.
    • You purchased a new copy of windows every other year between 96 and 06 so that's 7 copies but you're only filing for 6. My math comes up to $96 is due you.

      Why every two years? Moore's law, of course. New computer, new license.
  • Mirror Here (Score:2, Informative)

    by geggam (777689)
    http://edge-op.org/iowa/ [edge-op.org]
    I also have one but I am not about to publish it for a slashdotting.
  • $19 for an OS? Not remembering offhand, I'm sure the Minnesota settlement was considerably more. MS bought my wife and I an Epson Store refurbished scanner, cheap HP inkjet and some surplus "Linux Store" linux keyboards on the basis of our OS purchases alone. And, mostly, I used OS/2 and other OSes during the settlement period.

  • From: http://www.iowasoftwaresuit.com/ [iowasoftwaresuit.com]

    The Court has granted preliminary approval of the settlement. A hearing on final approval is scheduled for August 31, 2007.

    To receive benefits, you must complete and return a Claim Form which will be available on this website beginning April 25, 2007. The deadline for mailing your Claim Form or submitting your Claim Form online is December 14, 2007 or 30 days after the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement, whichever comes later.

    Check back for additional informa
  • "Microsoft has settled the suit brought by the State of Iowa."

    When I first glanced at that I misread it as

    "Microsoft has bought the State of Iowa"

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