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Re: [seul-edu] (FWD) Red Hat Proposes Alternative to Microsoft settlement
I agree, but I'll point out that the class action in the previous
e-mail isn't the DOJ lawsuit you're thinking of. It is a number
of private lawsuits which were grouped into a class-action case.
I do think that the attorneys for the plantiffs are missing the point
if they accept this settlement.
1 billion dollars in equipment and software sound impressive until
you realize that software is cheap to reproduce and it is going to
schools in areas which probably couldn't afford new MS products
anyway. So microsoft ends up settling a class action case by
essentially, creating 1 billion dollar advertising campaign for
low-budget schools which can least afford to support a MS-oriented
infrastructure in the long run.
On the flip side, if the NPR report I heard is correct, the money
doesn't have to be applied towards MS products. Although this is
likely a way to silence critics of the settlement, as my guess is
that it would be many times more difficult to purchase non-MS systems
in the settlement program.
I think the agreement is a bad faith offering by MS. The only
it would look good in my eyes is if the billion dollars were donated
to the schools with no strings attached -- to spend on any school
need, technology or otherwise.
On Wed, Nov 21, 2001 at 09:30:30AM -0800, SteelHead wrote:
> As a point of FWIW
> I am thinking that perhaps we should all get together on
> one front and start communications with schools and the
> major "commercial" distributors supporting the desktop...
> say Red hat SuSE Mandrake and so forth.. And have them
> start lobbing communicatioons up stram to the DOJ and
> Attorney's General and anyone else in the loop.
> I am alreading starting a discussion with Red Hat on this
> and I would like to know what comments or concerns any of
> you might like to add. This being the Thanksgiving Weekend
> here, I will be in my office working on it only
> sporadically. I will post the text of my message here
> before sending it to Red hat.
> On Tuesday 20 November 2001 17:00, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> > It's really a shame that Microsoft is going to get away
> > with further extending its monopoly as part of its
> > "punishment".
> > Ah well,
> > --Roger
> > ----- Forwarded message from "R. A. Hettinga"
> > <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----
> > Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 16:07:00 -0800
> > Sender: Law & Policy of Computer Communications
> > <CYBERIA-L@LISTSERV.AOL.COM>
> > From: Doug Masson <dmasson@WELL.COM>
> > Subject: Red Hat Proposes Alternative to Microsoft
> > settlement
> > I thought this was a nice piece of public relations from
> > Red Hat:
> > Subject: Red Hat proposes Alternative to Microsoft
> > Settlement
> > Red Hat Proposes to Enhance Microsoft Settlement Offer By
> > Providing Open Source Software to All U.S. School
> > Districts RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Nov 20, 2001
> > (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Open Source leader proposes to provide
> > software to every school district in the United States if
> > Microsoft provides computing hardware for the 14,000
> > poorest school districts
> > Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq:RHAT) today proposed an alternative
> > to the settlement announced today of the class-action
> > lawsuit against Microsoft. Red Hat offered to provide
> > open-source software to every school district in the
> > United States free of charge, encouraging Microsoft to
> > redirect the money it would have spent on software into
> > purchasing more hardware for the 14,000 poorest school
> > districts. Under the Red Hat proposal, by removing
> > Microsoft's higher-priced software from the settlement
> > equation, Microsoft could provide the school districts
> > with many more computers--greatly extending the benefits
> > Microsoft seeks to provide school districts with their
> > proposed settlement.
> > Microsoft had proposed that, in settlement of
> > class-action claims of price-gouging, the company donate
> > computer hardware, software and support to 14,000 poor
> > school districts throughout the United States. Under the
> > proposed settlement, a substantial part of the value
> > provided to schools would be in the form of Microsoft
> > software.
> > The Red Hat's alternative proposal includes the
> > following: -- Microsoft redirects the value of their
> > proposed software donation to the purchase of additional
> > hardware for the school districts. This would increase
> > the number of computers available under the original
> > proposal from 200,000 to more than one million, and would
> > increase the number of systems per school from
> > approximately 14 to at least 70. -- Red Hat, Inc. will
> > provide free of charge the open-source Red Hat Linux
> > operating system, office applications and associated
> > capabilities to any school system in the United States.
> > -- Red Hat will provide online support for the software
> > through the Red Hat Network.
> > -- Unlike the Microsoft proposal, which has a
> > five-year time limit at which point schools would have to
> > pay Microsoft to renew their licenses and upgrade the
> > software, the Red Hat proposal has no time limit. Red Hat
> > will provide software upgrades through the Red Hat
> > Network online distribution channel.
> > A Win-Win Approach
> > The Red Hat proposal achieves two important goals:
> > improving the quality and accessibility of computing
> > education in the nation's less-privileged schools, and
> > preventing the extension of Microsoft's monopoly to the
> > most-vulnerable users.
> > "While we applaud Microsoft for raising the idea of
> > helping poorer schools as part of the penalty phase of
> > their conviction for monopolistic practices, we do not
> > think that the remedy should be a mechanism by which
> > Microsoft can further extend its monopoly," said Matthew
> > Szulik, CEO of Red Hat. "Through this proposal all of the
> > states and all of the schools can win, and Microsoft will
> > achieve even greater success for its stated goal of
> > helping schools. By providing schools with a software
> > choice, Red Hat will enable Microsoft to provide many
> > more computers to these schools. At the same time, the
> > schools can accept this offer secure in the knowledge
> > that they have not rewarded a monopolist by extending the
> > monopoly. It's now up to Microsoft to demonstrate that
> > they are truly serious about helping our schools."
> > General information about Red Hat's support for education
> > is available at www.redhat.com/opensourcenow/.
> > *********************************************************
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> > --- end forwarded text