Apple CEO speaks out about Microsoft settlement

Heightening tensions between the two computer giants, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has accused Microsoft of using the proposed terms of its antitrust settlement to its advantage.

In order to bring an end to the long-running legal dispute over its dominance of the market, Microsoft has suggested donating over $1 billion worth of software to America’s poorest schools over a five-year period. But speaking at a court hearing into the issue, Mr Jobs warned that such a move would inevitably only serve to strengthen Microsoft’s grip on the educational sector, stating that he was “baffled” that a settlement imposed against Microsoft for breaking the law should allow them to expand their presence into other markets.

In addition, other critics have described the proposal as an astute move by Microsoft, as the company will be able to count such donations of software at full market value in terms of tax while the actual cost of supplying the schools with the items will be negligible.

However, Mr Jobs’ comments may hide a secret agenda of their own, as such a donation from Microsoft would inevitably threaten Apple’s position in the educational sector where so far it has enjoyed significant sales.

Others have welcomed the news, including some of those involved in bringing the antitrust actions against Microsoft. Lawyer Michael Hausfeld said that he thought the move would help close the ‘digital divide’ and provide greater access to computers for students from all background.

“We clearly have a choice,” he added. “We can spend several years and a great deal of money fighting the private antitrust cases in the courts for a few dollars benefit per claimant, or we can force Microsoft to assist economically challenged children now.” (CL)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

24 March 2004
EU Competition Commission slaps record fine on Microsoft
Microsoft is to seek a legal review of the decision by the EU Competition Commission to fine the computer software company 497 million euro (£331 million/US$613 million) over abuse of its market leading position.
30 October 2001
B.I.C. Systems partnership to provide IT solutions
Belfast based B.I.C. Systems has entered into a partnership with Quest Software that aims to help customers manage databases and their mission critical software applications more effectively and efficiently. The deal, which makes B.I.C.
28 November 2002
Microsoft donates software to Queen's University
Microsoft Ireland has donated £180,000 worth of software to Queen's University Belfast. The donation is a continuation of Microsoft’s longstanding relationship with the university, which has seen its involvement in student placements and sponsorship increase in recent years.
13 March 2017
Mid Ulster Council's Tendering System To Move Online
Mid Ulster District Council's tendering system is to move online from 01 April. The move means any procurement exercise worth over £30,000 will be managed electronically, with potential suppliers and contractors registering their details and completing all necessary documentation via a web-based portal.
01 May 2003
Computacenter employee lands top Microsoft award
Computacenter is celebrating a prestigious award win this week following Microsoft’s decision to honour one of its employees with an award for Outstanding Contribution.