Minnesota school districts to receive $55.2M from Microsoft

State schools to get $55.2M from Microsoft settlement
— reported by Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal

Minnesota school districts will receive $55.2 million in vouchers for computer hardware and software as part of a settlement with Microsoft Corp.

Districts will start receiving the vouchers this week, Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Monday. The money comes from a $174.5 million settlement related to a class-action lawsuit that accused Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) of overcharging Minnesota consumers and businesses for certain products.

Under the Microsoft settlement, approved in 2004, consumers and businesses who bought certain Microsoft software products in Minnesota were eligible to receive vouchers from the company for new computer hardware or software. After the deadline for the public passed, half the value of the unclaimed vouchers was made available to the Minnesota Department of Education.

The department will distribute the vouchers to 467 school districts and charter schools in various amounts, ranging from several hundred dollars to $6.3 million. The voucher amount for individual school districts is based on each district’s percentage of the state’s students eligible for free- and reduced-price lunch.


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One thought on “Minnesota school districts to receive $55.2M from Microsoft”

  1. I’m glad Minnesota got the settlement. But I think this is an example that nothing from Microsoft is as good or as cheap as it looks.

    I don’t know the figures for how much Minnesota has already invested, how much the court costs were to get Microsoft to give the state what it was due, etc. I imagine a lot of money has been spent by Minnesota.

    What if, five or so years ago, before accepting the original deal for software and hardware from Microsoft, Minnesota public education had just switched to OpenOffice.org and Linux instead of Windows and Microsoft Office? OpenOffice.org is absolutely free, Linux is cheap to free.

    None of those pesky court costs either,with open source software like OpenOffice.org. No need to keep track of the number of users, licenses, etc. with open source software. All the hassle of just dealing with Microsoft goes out the window too.

    The “total cost of ownership” when dealing with Microsoft can be pretty high.

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