Crime and (No) Punishment
If you missed the news, more penalties against Microsoft were handed down the week of Thanksgiving. What you didn't miss was that Microsoft got off lightlyagain.If you missed the news, more penalties against Microsoft were handed down the week of Thanksgiving. What you didnt miss was that Microsoft got off lightlyagain. The beneficiaries in the settlement of about 100 private lawsuitsfiled against the company in the wake of the governments antitrust caseare students at some 14,000 public schools who will get free software and computers. But its Microsoft that will be saying thanks. The deal, which must still be approved by the judge overseeing the class action suits, calls for Microsoft to pay more than $1 billion in software, training, reconditioned computers and other endowments. What could be wrong with this windfall? Well, first, though the "cost" of the software is reportedly almost a billion dollars, to Microsoft its next to nothing because thats what it costs to copy software onto a CD. Not to mention that with almost $40 billion in cash on hand, the company can easily absorb the charge.
Second, ever since Bill Gates first cast his DOS upon the waters, he has sought to put Microsoft software on every computer in every home, business and school. Hes well on the way to that goal, so its hardly punitive to make the company give even more of its software away; it has been doing that for years. It has also made "investments" in education programs and helped businesses with giveawaysif that will keep the competition out.