ZDNet Pundit Takes Issue With MS's Class Action Settlement Offer

We usually reserve editorial referrals for our Mac OS News Around The Web section, but we found an editorial at ZDNet that was good to enough to warrant mention in our main news section. Rupert Goodwins, a columnist at ZDNet, takes issue with the recent class action settlement deal that allows Microsoft to defer any possible judgement by giving away up to US$1 billion in software and hardware to some of the USis poorest school districts.

In the piece, titled "Microsoftis fairy-tale punishment," he rightly calls it a huge competitive edge for the company, being among the first mainstream pundits to do so. He also talks about Microsoftis attempts to force charities to buy new software licenses for very old PCs. Best of all, the entire point is made by painting the story in the image of a classic fairy tale. From the piece:

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, where the beer was golden and the prawns leaped gladly onto barbies from Darwin to Sydney, there was a plucky villager. Sitting on his dunny one day, thinking about the all the poor kids whoid never even seen a Windows error message, he had a bright idea. "Why not get all the old computers from companies that donit want them any more", he thought, "and give them to the schoolkids so they can acquire valuable IT skills."

He set out on his mission. From shabby office to marble foyer he went, and the people everywhere were dead keen. "Goodonya, mate!" they cried, putting PC after PC onto the back of his pickup and waving him on his way. The teachers of this distant land were also happy: "Goodonya, mate!" they shouted as he came into view.

Everyone was happy. Until a shadow fell over the land, and an enormous roar was heard. The eucalyptus trees shook so hard that the koalas fell into the beers of those below. It was the Evil Giant! "WHO IS STEALING ALL MY MONEY?" he shouted. The people scattered, but the plucky villager stood his ground. "Weire not stealing," he said. "Itis old software you canit even buy any more."

He closes with an even more poignant comments that we encourage you to go and read for yourself. Itis a very good piece about a relevant issue to the Mac world.