Microsoft has proposed to settle federal and state antitrust lawsuits by providing $1 billion in computers, software, and support services to needy U.S. schools. This offer is drawing criticism from some education advocates, as well as rival computer and software makers. One of the highest-profile critics is Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs, who is concerned that Microsoft’s donations would increase the presence of Windows software in schools and pressure schools to purchase Windows-compatible machines.

Apple has filed a request with the court that is reviewing Microsoft’s proposal, asking the court to require that funds provided by Microsoft be dispersed by an independent group with no ties to Microsoft. A court ruling on the proposed settlement may be issued by the end of 2001.

Microsoft executives dispute the allegations, noting that the company would provide funds for schools to purchase the equipment and services they need, without any restrictions on the supplier.

abstracted from “Steve Jobs Rejects Microsoft Plan”
The New York Times, December 3, 2001