Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) can add a notch to its nice-guy belt today. Late yesterday, the firm announced yet another class action settlement, this time with the state of Arizona. For the meager sum of $104 million, delivered in the form of vouchers, lawyers on both sides have agreed to take off the gloves and make nice. And best of all -- for the PR departments of both plaintiff and defendant -- it benefits children, with unclaimed vouchers contributing to technology purchases at lower-income schools.

If you've been watching the headlines from Redmond, you've noticed the change. For the past year, Mr. Softy's stateside policy has been to seek amicable settlements to the remaining class action complaints. The recent fight in Minnesota -- which seemed to hinge on the questionable but politically popular notion that profits themselves proved wrongdoing -- was also settled with a cash payoff.

Tennessee and California are other states that have recently come to terms, but governments aren't the only beneficiaries. In April, Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) got a cool $1.6 billion and a big hug.

Things are tougher across the Atlantic, where there's still a no-holds-barred cage match with the European Union, which seems determined to extract a pound of flesh no matter how strongly its fears and opinions are contravened by reality.

In general, these settlements look like good news for investors. The cash-rich company can afford them, and it's a small price to pay for tranquillity.

After all, Microsoft has worked hard to earn its creepy bona fides. That's why it has been the de facto target for pugnacious alpha-nerds like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Steve Jobs, Oracle's (NASDAQ:ORCL) Larry Ellison, or any other computer chieftain looking for an easy headline.

The time has come for Microsoft to lie low and do what it does best: Collect mountains of cash. The fewer legal distractions and PR nightmares, the better.

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Fool contributor Seth Jayson looks forward to email from fervent Microsoft bashers. He owns several Microsoft operating systems, but has no position in any company mentioned. View his Fool profile here.