Microsoft Corp. announced today that a settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging that Microsoft Corp. violated Arizona’s antitrust and unfair competition laws.

The settlement, which received preliminary approval on June 28, 2004 from the Superior Court for the County of Maricopa, Arizona will make vouchers available to class members that may be used to buy any manufacturer’s desktop, laptop and tablet computers; any software available for sale to the general public and used with those computer products; and specified peripheral devices for use with computers. The total amount of vouchers issued will depend on the number of class members who claim vouchers, and the maximum value of the vouchers that may be issued to class members will be $104.6 million.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Microsoft will provide one-half of the difference between $104.6 million and the value of vouchers issued to class members to Arizona’s public school districts in the form of vouchers that may be used by the school districts to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft® and non-Microsoft software, and professional development services. The vouchers will be made available to public school districts in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for reduced-fee or free meals under the National School Lunch Program.

“We’re pleased by the opportunity to help schools all across Arizona get the computers and software they need,” said Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft. “The novel approach we’ve taken in structuring this settlement has not only allowed us to resolve this legal matter, but provide needed benefits to students at the same time.”

Details of the settlement are set forth in a settlement agreement filed in the Superior Court for the County of Maricopa, Arizona. Under the settlement, consumers who, between January 12, 1996 and December 31, 2002, resided in Arizona and indirectly purchased certain Microsoft operating system, productivity suite, spreadsheet or word processing software for use in Arizona and not for resale will be eligible to apply for the vouchers.