California consumers, the Redmond, Wash., software giant said Thursday.
In this settlement of 27 private antitrust lawsuits, California consumers who bought Microsoft products between 1995 and 2001 can collect rebates from
Microsoft in the form of vouchers good for software or computer products.
Lindows.com, of San Diego, has been offering to process claims ranging from $50 to $100 on behalf of consumers via its Web site. Lindows.com's plan
was to send the customers copies of its Linux-based software up front and then collect the money to pay for it from Microsoft.
The irony was rich: Using money from Microsoft to support the company's mortal enemy, the Linux operating system. Linux is created by legions of
volunteers worldwide and is a rival to Microsoft's Windows operating system. Although versions of Linux can be obtained for free, some companies, such
as Lindows.com, sell Linux-based software that comes with user support.