US Report: Sun Vs. Microsoft - let the show begin

The Department of Justice vs. Microsoft fireworks may be going on behind closed doors, but the show is just about to begin in the Sun Microsystems vs.

The Department of Justice vs. Microsoft fireworks may be going on behind closed doors, but the show is just about to begin in the Sun Microsystems vs. Microsoft Java case.

Next Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Judge Ronald Whyte will hear presentations from both Sun and Microsoft executives in the form of Java-related technology tutorials. The following week, on Sept. 10 - a week later than originally anticipated - the preliminary injunction hearings will begin in the case. The hearings will follow two days of testimony on Sept. 8 and 9 by witnesses from both sides.

As part of its copyright infringement and unfair competition suit it filed against Microsoft last October, Sun is seeking preliminary injunctions against Microsoft in the operating system and tools arenas. Sun is seeking the court to compel Microsoft to include a 100 percent Java-compatible Java implementation in every copy of Windows 98 it ships. It also is seeking the court to halt Microsoft from shipping Java tools unless they are compatible with "fully compatible" Java. Microsoft is slated to launch its Visual J++ 6.0 product on Sept. 4.

Last week, Microsoft posted to its web site a letter to customers from Bob Muglia, Microsoft's Senior Vice President of its Applications and Tools Group, explaining Microsoft's take on the Sun-Microsoft suit. "It is clear that the current litigation between Microsoft and Sun is harmful to customers who are trying to use Java in their business," Muglia's letter, dated Aug. 18, states. "Unfortunately, it appears that Sun is driven by a competitive focus on Microsoft that overshadows any concerns it may have about customers and the technology."

The Muglia letter adds that: "Sun agreed that we could extend Java to allow programs written in the Java language to take advantage of Windows. The agreement empowered the Java development community to develop cross platform Java programs and create full Windows applications. The choice belonged to the developer. Unfortunately, that is not what happened."

Muglia's letter includes a link to an Aug. 13 declaration provided by Muglia, which presents Microsoft s chronology of the events leading up to Sun's filing of the Java suit.

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