In 2018, Microsoft turned the page on three class action lawsuits that were filed well over a decade ago. Like the antitrust allegations made against Microsoft in the United States in the 1990s, the cases we resolved in 2018 are about conduct from the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. While we deny the allegations, we’re happy to put this chapter behind us and look to Microsoft’s future. Our focus is on the exploration of exciting new ways to help our customers with digital tools, machine learning, AI and the cloud. The first part of the settlement was for consumers and purchasers of volume licenses, such as large businesses, who acquired Microsoft software from authorized resellers between December 1998 and March 2010 with cash, or vouchers to purchase Microsoft products. Hundreds of Canadian businesses and thousands of individual consumers have already participated in that claims process.
A portion of the remaining settlement funds, over $100 million, is being made available to K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions to support students across Canada with access to new computer hardware, software, and related training.
At Microsoft, we believe in the potential of every student and teacher. With the right learning tools to spark student creativity and provide teacher efficiency, students are better equipped to thrive in work and life. We’re pleased that this legal resolution will help empower the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. The settlement funds will be distributed to Canadian educational institutions – split 50/50 between hardware and software vouchers. The distribution will prioritize hardware access to underserved K-12 schools in Canada that would benefit from increased student access to computer learning. Software vouchers will also be offered to both K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions, prioritizing those which would benefit from increased access to software, including Azure, Minecraft Education Edition, Intune, and Microsoft’s cloud and Artificial Intelligence capabilities to build the skills of the future. The vouchers may also be leveraged for professional development services used in connection with the new hardware and software purchases.
School eligibility is being determined by an oversight committee, which will also provide monitoring and reporting of the impact of the program. As part of this process, a number of educational institutions have been selected by this oversight committee to receive vouchers for the September 2022-23 school year.
The remainder of the settlement funds will be made available for hardware and software vouchers for educational institutions across Canada later in 2022-23. For further information about the vouchers for educational institutions, please visit the settlement website at: https://www.thatsuitemoney.ca/
We look forward to Canadian educational institutions receiving increased access to Microsoft’s industry-leading education products and cloud services, and we’re pleased that the resolution of this case could pave the way for a fresh new initiative that will have a significant impact for students across Canada.