Microsoft has acted on Apple's complaint regarding its proposed settlement of antitrust claims in California.

The Seattle-based computer giant has agreed that as part of the settlement Californian schools will be free to decide whose software they receive, the LA Times, reports (registration required).

Microsoft agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle the antitrust claims. The company has now dropped a clause in the deal that meant school's would be given Microsoft software for free - they will instead receive vouchers they can spend on technology from any manufacturer, the report claims.

Microsoft had intended to offer free Microsoft software to California's poorest schools. It was in settlement of a lawsuit by Californian consumers claiming Microsot's operating system monopoly had let it charge higher prices.

Apple opposed the terms of the original settlement, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs describing it as unfair to allow Microsoft to secure a stronger hold on the US education market (by distributing free software) as part of an anti-trust settlement.