Red Hat Proposes to Enhance MS Settlement, Providing Open Source Software to US School DistrictsNov 20, 2001, 21:21 (45 Talkback[s])
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"Microsoft Corp. has reached a settlement in dozens of private antitrust suits, but the proposed deal's impact on the company's bottom line remains to be seen.Complete Story
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--Nov. 20, 2001-- 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. 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:
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.