Sun-MS ruling could devastate some Windows developers who use Java

Summary:LAS VEGAS -- Independent software developers demonstrating their Windows products at the giant Comdex/Fall '98 trade show here reacted cautiously to the federal court ruling in the Microsoft-Sun Java dispute, but acknowledged that the order could have a major impact on many companies.

LAS VEGAS -- Independent software developers demonstrating their Windows products at the giant Comdex/Fall '98 trade show here reacted cautiously to the federal court ruling in the Microsoft-Sun Java dispute, but acknowledged that the order could have a major impact on many companies.

SISRO President Bruno Gareton, whose company makes computer automation software, said the impact on small software vendors could be devastating, if they were forced to alter their products to work on a modified Windows 98.

"If it means months of development wasted and months without shipping a product, it could break a company without a ton of product (in the market)," Gareton said.

Dean Schumacher, a senior account executive for Lakeside Software Inc. of Keego Harbor, Mich., which makes thin-client management software, conceded there may be little choice but to remain in lockstep with Microsoft, whatever it does. "We're rolling with Uncle Bill," Schumacher said. "We're riding on their coat tails." Surprisingly, some independent software developers whose products were not directly affected said the ruling could have a long-term positive affect in establishing Java standards.

"This may help us adopt an industry standard. Currently, we must support all platforms," said Brad Kerr, product manager of JetForm Corp. of Ottawa, Canada, which sells electronic form, workflow and output technology.

Meanwhile, Java developers were predictably delighted by the news. Frank Greco, CEO of Java company Crossroads Technologies Inc., applauded the ruling, saying he expected after some of the judge's other pro-Sun orders.

"Java is Sun's invention. Microsoft was trying to take it away from them," Greco said. "With Java it's been Microsoft and everyone else. Microsoft's the only one who's really tried to distort it."

Greco hopes the ruling will bring some relief to a development community that's been divided by the suit. "It doesn't make sense to fracture the industry," he said.

LAS VEGAS -- Independent software developers demonstrating their Windows products at the giant Comdex/Fall '98 trade show here reacted cautiously to the federal court ruling in the Microsoft-Sun Java dispute, but acknowledged that the order could have a major impact on many companies.

SISRO President Bruno Gareton, whose company makes computer automation software, said the impact on small software vendors could be devastating, if they were forced to alter their products to work on a modified Windows 98.

"If it means months of development wasted and months without shipping a product, it could break a company without a ton of product (in the market)," Gareton said.

Dean Schumacher, a senior account executive for Lakeside Software Inc. of Keego Harbor, Mich., which makes thin-client management software, conceded there may be little choice but to remain in lockstep with Microsoft, whatever it does. "We're rolling with Uncle Bill," Schumacher said. "We're riding on their coat tails." Surprisingly, some independent software developers whose products were not directly affected said the ruling could have a long-term positive affect in establishing Java standards.

"This may help us adopt an industry standard. Currently, we must support all platforms," said Brad Kerr, product manager of JetForm Corp. of Ottawa, Canada, which sells electronic form, workflow and output technology.

Meanwhile, Java developers were predictably delighted by the news. Frank Greco, CEO of Java company Crossroads Technologies Inc., applauded the ruling, saying he expected after some of the judge's other pro-Sun orders.

"Java is Sun's invention. Microsoft was trying to take it away from them," Greco said. "With Java it's been Microsoft and everyone else. Microsoft's the only one who's really tried to distort it."

Greco hopes the ruling will bring some relief to a development community that's been divided by the suit. "It doesn't make sense to fracture the industry," he said.

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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