U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte said Sun was "likely to prevail on the merits" of its lawsuit over the Java programming language and issued a preliminary injunction that would bar Microsoft from selling products that use the technology. Whyte's order specifically bars the sale of Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 4.0 with Java technology beginning in 90 days unless Microsoft modifies the software to comply with Sun compatibility tests.
Sun sued Microsoft last year accusing it of illegally tampering with Java. Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said the company was disappointed by the ruling, but would take the necessary steps to comply. "We believe Sun's legal strategy is shortsighted and is trying to deny customers and developers the choice of the best Java implementation in the marketplace,'' Cullinan said. Alan Baratz, president of Sun's Java Software unit, said the company would continue to deliver products, "that give developers and users the choice to replace Microsoft's polluted technology with Sun's compatible Java technology...We're extremely pleased that the court has granted our request for injunction," said Michael Morris, vice president and general counsel, Sun Microsystems, Inc.