It's been a long time since I have written about the Microsoft-Iowa case but the hearing for final approval of the $179.95 million settlement is this Friday, August 31. The settlement received preliminary approval from Judge Rosenberg back in April and I anticipate the judge will grant final approval of the settlement.
Class members are entitled to receive $16 for each copy of Windows or MS-DOS they purchased; $25 for each copy of Microsoft Excel; $29 for each copy of Microsoft Office; and $10 for each copy of Microsoft Word, Works and Home Essential software. Consumers do not need proof of purchase to be reimbursed for up to $200.
Microsoft will provide one-half of the difference between $179.95 million and the unclaimed cash and vouchers to Iowa public schools in the form of vouchers that may be used by the schools to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft and non-Microsoft software, and professional development services.
One of the more interesting aspects of the settlement is that claims from consumers are trickling in very slowly. As of August 1, 2007, the AP reported that only a little more than 55,000 Iowans have filed claims. Class members are able to claim $200.00 without a receipt. It is likely that most of the claims are far below $200 but even if the 55,000 Iowans claimed an average of $200 that means the total payout for the class members is approximately $11 million at this point. Probably not too surprising because I think most people have a hard time working up any outrage over Microsoft's actions.
The plaintiffs lawyers, on the other hand, have requested $75 million in legal fees and expenses for the case. Initially Microsoft objected to the amount of the fees when Conlin requested more than $75 million but it is my understanding there will be no objections because Conlin has agreed to reduce her claim to no more than $75 million. (What would Brett Rogers say about this?) The judge will decide how much is awarded in fees.
For details on how to file a claim please go to www.iowamicrosoftcase.com. You must file your claim by December 14, 2007 or within thirty (30) days after the court grants final approval on the settlement, whichever is later.