Judge Orders Microsoft to Include Sun Java in Windows

Monday December 23rd, 2002

US District Judge J Frederick Motz has issued a preliminary injunction forcing Microsoft to carry Sun Microsystem's Java Runtime Environment in its .NET-enabled products, such as Windows and Internet Explorer. In a three-day hearing, Sun successfully argued that Microsoft attempted to marginalise Java by shipping an incompatible version of the language with Windows. The order — which will remain in effect until Sun's private antitrust case against Microsoft is settled — is designed to prevent the market from tipping in favour of Microsoft's .NET technology in the near future. The judge fears that should this occur during the duration of the trial, Sun may never again be able to regain its current competitive position. Microsoft plans to appeal.

Slashdot has links to several articles about the decision. You may be interested to hear that Judge Motz is also presiding over Netscape's private antitrust suit against Microsoft.

#1 toss up

by amr

Monday December 23rd, 2002 9:18 PM

So then it's a race between .NET and JAVA to see which one can wreak the most havoc on my online activities? ;-)

#2 Re: toss up

by jvlb

Monday December 23rd, 2002 10:09 PM

Ah yes, but a fairly and decently hobbled race so that one deficient might not take advantage of the other.

#3 The enemy of my enemy...

by jjn1056

Monday December 23rd, 2002 10:19 PM

Why Sun's version of Java? What about Java from other vendors, such as IBM? Isn't there a vendor independent Java, from a Free Software group? I remember hearing about this once. What about Python, Perl, or any number of other platform independent enviroments? On that note, why not the mozilla runtime?

In my mind, this is not of much use to Open Source, or Free Software. This is just one big company trying to usurp the monopoly of the other. It's really just a, "Oh, that's interesting. The newspaper says we have a new dictator today..."

I guess it's here because a lot of us think the enemy of my enemy is a friend. I guess I'll try to keep an open mind and see if that is true.

#5 Re: The enemy of my enemy...

by the_Rebel

Monday December 23rd, 2002 11:10 PM

I love Perl, but it is hardly comprable to Java and neither Perl nor Python have any relevance here. As for Mozilla code, that would be more relevant to Netscape's case than Sun's case.

The reason that the judge made the ruling regarding Java is because the court case in question is about Java. Microsoft violated their Java licensing agreement with Sun. The whole purpose of this injunction is to try to help offset the damages that Microsoft has inflicted upon Sun; it is not meant to necessarily undermine or punish Microsoft. It is not the judge's job to promote Free Software or Open Source. From what I have heard so far, this judge is doing it right.

#7 Re: Re: The enemy of my enemy...

by adsmith

Tuesday December 24th, 2002 1:22 AM

Perl might not be relevant now, but when Parrot and Perl 6 hit production I think they will become a genuine alternative to .NET and Java. Parrot (currently under development) is the virtual machine that will support Perl 6, but it is being designed to support other langauges as diverse as Lisp, Ruby, Python and C#. Very cool stuff. Personally, being able to program XUL apps in Perl 6 would be a very interesting prospect.

#8 Perl will never be relevant to this case

by SubtleRebel

Tuesday December 24th, 2002 3:31 AM

Parrot or no Parrot, Perl will never be relevant to this case.

#12 Re: The enemy of my enemy...

by cknoll

Monday December 30th, 2002 11:04 AM

If IBM or any other JVM developers want to have their JVMs sit in Mozilla, they just need to provide OJI capabilities in their JVM and it will work. I asked on an IBM developer board about the OJI compliance of the 1.3 JVMs but didn't get a response. If IBM wants to go ahead and do the exact same thing as Sun (meaning: use a lawsuit to have their JVM deployed with Windows) they can do that. It would probably be easier to collaborate and have IBM enhancements get folded into Sun's VM, or have Sun's Plugin-control panel allow downloading and switching to other vendor's JVMs. But, the judge's concern was with Sun's JVM because that's the only JVM that Sun argued about in the case.


#4 Re: toss up

by jvlb

Monday December 23rd, 2002 10:38 PM

Whoa! All this negativity. People, coders have to make a living or open source will turn into a pipe dream. All this judgement does is give Java programmers a new lease on life. Is that so bad?

#6 Re: toss up

by jeti

Tuesday December 24th, 2002 1:04 AM

> All this judgement does is give Java programmers a new lease on life. Is that so bad? I just would like the Java language to improve. And this takes pressure from Sun to do so. If Java would perform well enough on the desktop, there would be a number of large applications that would bundle a JRE. The fact that I'm not aware of such applications says more about the quality of Java than about the market dominance of MS. When Java was hyped, I heard about quite a few well known applications being ported to it. All those ports were silently cancelled. And no, you can't blame it entirely on the evil work of MS.

#11 Re: Re: toss up

by spage

Friday December 27th, 2002 2:47 PM

> I just would like the Java language to improve.

It has, in leaps and bounds, but M$oft still ships a crappy old version, so developers either have to support that, or tell users to install a better version, or bloat their application by including it themselves.

> If Java would perform well enough on the desktop, there would be a number of large applications that would bundle a JRE.

There are lots. I have TogetherSoft's Control, Oracle, Sybase Anywhere, and several others on my machine. But bundling a JRE is awful. Last time I checked I had 6 java.exe's on my Windows machine.

> The fact that I'm not aware of such applications says more about the quality of Java

No it doesn't. Java is a benefit to DEVELOPERS, not users. It lets developers write their application once in an advanced cross-platform language with a rich run-time support layer, and then run (after some testing) on many different platforms. That, much like Mozilla XP and XUL, is an arrow at the heart of Microsoft, which would love every developer to HAVE to write a Windows application, then a Mac version nine months later, then a Linux version 6 months after that, then recompile the Solaris version 2 months later, etc., etc.

> than about the market dominance of MS.

Get a clue. The antitrust trial established as a FACT OF LAW that M$oft has an illegal software monopoly. Therefore as a remedy they should be compelled to offer alternative technologies as part of their O/S bundle. It's good for users, good for developers, good for other platforms... good for everyone except M$oft, holders of an illegal software monopoly.


#9 A good decision: Will it lead to a better one?

by DeepFreeze3

Tuesday December 24th, 2002 3:45 AM

Java is an essential part of the World Wide Web, and I didn't like the idea of Microsoft forcing people to download Sun's software seperately. Even with a broadband connection, it took me 10 minutes to get the latest version of JVM. For dial-up users, I'd guess it'd be a hell of a lot longer than that.

Let's not forget why the legal system was needed here: Sun created Java, and Microsoft tried to rip it off, claim it as their own & pulverize Sun so that they could have the glory all to themselves, and any potential profits.

#10 Netscape is next

by bandido

Tuesday December 24th, 2002 6:26 AM

I wonder if AOL will be able to pursue the same route with Netscape's distribution. After all, the evidence about how IE bundling with the operating system with the intent of overtaking Netscape was proven (with MS own documents and emails). People might argue that Opera woild be left out. Well, Opera has to make their own case in court if they want a piece of the pie (they didn't take part in monopoly proceedings).

Regarding Java, having a fully Java standards compliant VM distributed with OS will benefit all other fully Java compliant VM because developers can concentrate on developing for the standard, not for MS crippled version. Linux and other OS will also benefit as long as they use standard Java VM (from whoever).