[TriLUG] Red Hat proposal to enhance Microsoft settlement...
Geoffrey Douglas Purdy
gdpurdy at unity.ncsu.edu
Tue Nov 20 16:50:20 EST 2001
I found Red Hat's counter-proposal to MS's "generous" offer to
put Windows in the poorest school districts interesting. I wonder if it
will attract any serious interest?
[Text of press release inserted below]
Tuesday November 20, 3:48 pm Eastern Time
SOURCE: Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat Proposes to Enhance Microsoft Settlement Offer By Providing Open
Source Software to All U.S. School Districts
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
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 20, 2001-- Red Hat,
Inc. (Nasdaq:RHAT - news) 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
* 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
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
``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.''
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