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  Microsoft to give 600m to US schools
Updated 21 November 2001, 20.57
Bill Gates at the Comdex exhibiton in Las Vegas
Bill Gates has promised to give $1bn (about 620m) of Microsoft's money to poor schools in America.

It's a way of settling more than 100 lawsuits which the software giant is fighting.

These claim Microsoft has been able to overcharge millions of computer buyers because products like Windows don't really have any competition in the market.

12,500 schools to benefit

The cash will buy computers, software and training for around 14% of schools in the US. That means more than 12,500 of the country's poorest schools will benefit.

A lawyer thought of the idea when he realised each of the 65 million computer buyers bringing the lawsuits would only get about $10 (about 6) from a $1bn payout.

But because the software will include Microsoft's own Office and Windows, some people thinks it does nothing to solve the original problem of lack of competition.

A judge has to approve the deal before it can happen.

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