Microsoft braces for class action suit

Three California lawyers plan to file a class action suit against Microsoft Corp. Monday, the New York Times has reported.

The paper said the lawyers will accuse Microsoft of using its Monopoly powers to overcharge users for Windows 95 and Windows 98.

Analyst had been predicting that Microsoft could fall prey to numerous suits in the wake of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's finding that the company has monopoly power. The judge has yet to issue a final ruling or penalty in the Department of Justice's case against the software giant. On Friday, the judge appointed Richard Posner, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, to serve as mediator in an effort to reach an out-of-court settlement.

But private plaintiffs seem to be hoping that the finding of fact will lead to an even harsher final ruling. The Times said the lawyers, Terry Gross of San Francisco, Daniel Mogin of San Diego and Francis Scarpulla of San Francisco, plan to file the suit in California Superior court in San Francisco.

The complaint does not estimate the financial impact to Windows users, but the lawyers are seeking triple damages if the suit leads to an eventual finding of financial harm, the paper said.