Sun: Let the Windows Injunction Be

Sun claims Java's survival depends on Microsoft injunction.
In a court filing, Sun Microsystems claims that a federal judge's order to include its Java programming language in Microsoft's is imperative to prevent Java from extinction.

Sun's filing Tuesday comes on the heels of Microsoft's appeal of federal judge's order in Baltimore last week that orders Microsoft to include an updated versions of Java in Windows XP operating systems within the next few months.

In its appeal, Microsoft says that Sun doesn't face "imminent irreparable harm," and there is no evidence that should compel it to assist its competitor. Microsoft is asking the higher appeals court for a stay of the federal judge's order.

But Sun in its latest filing says: "a stay could irreparably harm Sun. Each day the preliminary remedy is delayed works to Microsoft's advantage, increasing the likelihood that the market will tip towards .NET and its market position will become entrenched."

"In a legal battle between the two you are going to see them make their strongest comments as possible to be in order for their comments to be better heard by the legal bodies," Shebly Seyrafi, enterprise hardware analyst at AG Edwards, St. Louis, Missouri.

"Java is one of several software technologies at Sun, others include Solaris, SunOne, Jiro and Jini. Software by itself is not a significant part of Sun's revenue stream, but it is a calling card that allows it differentiate itself from its competition," Seyrafi said.

".NET is just emerging now, Java has been out for a long time. Microsoft made some chan,ges to Java so that it would work better with Microsoft's products, those changes diminished somewhat the write once read anywhere capability of Java," Seyrafi said.

"Java had a lot of momentum had Microsoft not made those changes. Now, we have this battle between Java and .Net in the battle for web services," Seyrafi added.

Sun said Microsoft distributed outdated versions of Java that were incompatible for Windows users. Sun's latest legal filing is part of a wider suit against Microsoft asking for $1 billion in damages stemming from allegations of anti-competitive behavior that hindered the development of Java.

Sun's filing with the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia is a 25-page document detailing why it feels Microsoft should ship Java in Windows, as soon as possible.

Judge Frederick Motz has already ordered Microsoft to ship Java with Windows within 120 days from February 4th. The appeals court is reviewing Microsoft's appeal and Sun's filing, which could rule within the next few days.

For its part, Microsoft in its appeal says it would take sizeable engineering, manufacturing and distribution resources to include Java into Windows given the time frame the court has ordered. Microsoft says it believes that by devoting resources to this project it would adversely impact the quality and quantity of its resources to develop other software and products.

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