...if, of course, you live in California. eWeek reports on the upcoming deadline for filing claims for compensation in a class action suit against Microsoft. The compensation includes purchases of both Office and Windows, or of computers with such software preinstalled. The purchases had to have been made between between February 1995 and December 2001, so only Luddites and those few people who upgraded from Windows 3.1 straight to Windows XP are out of luck. Technically, eligible Californians who file claims will receive vouchers for "technology purchases," but the FAQ states that the vouchers will be exchanged for checks upon submission of proofs of purchase.

Since only about 600,000 claims have been submitted, and the amount of money in the settlement fund is $1.1 billion dollars, the question of what will happen to the money left over is extremely pertinent.

Two-thirds of any unclaimed settlement funds will go to California schools and qualified charities, according to Grossman. The funds "will go to the neediest California schools for a whole range of technology support," Grossman said. This will include desktop computers, laptops or peripherals such as printers, scanners or keyboards, he said.

Last I looked, most desktop computers came with keyboards, but whatever.