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Microsoft Seeks to Stop Lindows from Messing with its $1.1b California Settlement

Microsoft Seeks to Stop Lindows from Messing with its $1.1b California Settlement

Taking aim at Lindows.com, Microsoft's lawyers have asked the courts to trash all the California antitrust settlement claims filed with digital signatures.

Meanwhile, a Florida consultant by the name of FunctionIt has taken a leaf out of Lindows' book and is trying to get between Microsoft and the nominal $202 million settlement Microsoft came to resolve the local class action claiming it overcharged for Windows.

FunctionIT claims it can maximize the claims of Florida consumers and small businesses and relieve them of complexity by preparing the claim form, assisting in the collection of information and document the claim. FunctionIT says it's doing it at the urging of its clients who don't have the time to do it themselves. That and the percentage of the claims it'll collect from people who get money back. Anyone in Florida who bought Windows, Word, Excel and Office software between November 16, 1995 and the end of last year is eligible. (See www.functionIT.com.)

Lindows, which says it will "vigorously defend" its position, is trying to maximize Microsoft's payout, which could nominally be $1.1 billion, and get as much of the money into its own pocket as possible. It set up an alternate site called MSfreePC that Microsoft has previously claimed breaks the claims methodology that the Courts approved and encourages fraudulent claims.

Lindows also claims it will distribute 10% of the sum that it collects to needy open source vendors or projects such as Mozilla, OpenOffice, Gnome, Debian and KDE.

Lindows says it's the same technology that people use to file their income tax and that it's "transparent" that Microsoft is trying to duck how much money it has to pay.

See http://www.microsoftcalsettlement.com/ for the official claims forms. Claimants have until March to file. Unclaimed money goes either to the public school system or back to Microsoft.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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