A federal judge is forcing Microsoft Corp.
to release a
new version of Windows that will incorporate Sun Microsystems
Java programming language.
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz said Microsoft has 120 days to build
Java into Windows. Motz decided on 120 days, after Sun lawyers asked for 90
days, while Microsoft’s legal team ask the judge for a three-phase approach
over 180 days. Microsoft is expected to appeal the ruling, after the judge
issues his formal order sometime next week.
The judge asked Sun and Microsoft to continue working on an agreement and to
submit proposals for resolution by next Monday. The judge said he intends to
issue his order on Monday, but if there are still disputes, the order may be
issued later next week. Judge Motz went onto say that he would grant a
two-week stay, so that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would have a
chance to review Microsoft’s expected appeal.
While Judge Motz is expected to issue his order next week, there are still
several issues that Microsoft and Sun need to iron out. One thorny topic is
how Microsoft customers will be notified of the inclusion of Java in
Windows. As part of the ruling, Microsoft will have to release a version of
Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Java.
Sun would like Microsoft to inform customers through Microsoft’s update
service for the Windows PC Operating System and Microsoft Internet Explorer
web browser of the availability of the latest version of Sun’s Java
software. But Microsoft contends that there isn’t enough time for it to
modify a variety of its software products to accommodate the judge’s
decision on Java.
The Microsoft-Sun conflict over Java stems from Sun’s allegation that
Microsoft promoted an incompatible version of Java for the release of its
Windows XP operating system, which was released in 2001.
Judge Motz’s preliminary injunction will be in place until the trial
concludes, and at that point will, either modify, lift, or possibly make his
Judge Motz made his intentions clear in a Baltimore courtroom Wednesday when
he said, “I want this done, and I want it done in 120 days.”