Computer Tips

Following Up on the Minnesota-Microsoft Settlement

Yesterday I got a letter from the Minnesota District Court of Claims Administration telling me how to file a claim against Microsoft as part of the big class action suit. I thought I might save you some reading or answer some questions by pulling out what I thought were the more important pieces below. (I apologize to the non-Minnesota subscribers. Next week I’ll have something for everyone.)

Who is entitled to settlement benefits?
Anyone who legally purchased “Microsoft Windows operating system software or MS-DOS operating system software” from May 18, 1994 to March 17, 2003 in Minnesota for use in Minnesota.

What can you get?
Depending on the purchases you made, you will get a voucher to buy various computer products or software. Here is an itemized list of benefit amounts:

  • $15 each for Microsoft Windows or MS_DOS operating system software
  • $23 each for Microsoft Office
  • $9 each for Microsoft Word
  • $23 each for Microsoft Excel

There is a way that you can redeem vouchers for cash – but that requires proof of purchase, which means product ID numbers and/or documentation of purchases.

How do you file a claim?
You can file online or download the necessary forms online.
The form must be postmarked or sent online before February 20, 2005. Most folks will use the standard form. If you purchased through a volume license, you will want the volume license claim form.

If you have fewer than 5 items to claim and will redeem less than $100 then you only need to know the name of the product you purchased, year of purchase, and seller of purchase. If you have more items or plan to redeem more than $100, you will also need to have the product ID number or documentation of purchase.

What if I don’t file a claim?
If you don’t file a claim you will get nothing. Also, your lack of action will indicate that you are OK with the settlement – so you will not be able to sue Microsoft again. To be able to take part in a different suit against Microsoft you must request to be excluded from the settlement. You can exclude yourself by sending a letter of exclusion to:
Settlement Claims Administrator
Microsoft – Minnesota Settlement
PO Box 202
Minneapolis MN 55440-0202
Letter must be sent by October 4, 20044

For more information on filing a claim, visit the claim site. For information on the settlement, check out this PC World article.

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