Red Hat, a company offering open-source software, has countered Microsoft's proposal to settle class-action suits by donating what the software giant describes as $1 billion worth of software, hardware, and computer training to needy schools. Among other things, the Red Hat counterproposal focuses attention on how much Microsoft actually would have to spend if the courts were to accept its settlement offer.

Microsoft has described the proposed donations as an innovative way to end more than 100 class-action lawsuits pending against it. Microsoft's proposal was submitted to the Federal District Court of Maryland

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