A jury found Microsoft guilty of infringing the patents of a small company. They awarded the infringed company a half-billion dollars in damages.
MS said it would appeal, and courts of appeal very often reduce the amounts awarded by juries.
But even if they don’t, a half-billion dollars is almost chump change for MS. Right now, they have a cash mountain of about thirty billion dollars, so writing out a check for a little more than 1% of that isn’t too big a deal.
It may well be a moral victory, but little more at this point. Even if the judgment stands, it’s not a big financial blow.