Judge Tells Microsoft to Add Java to Windows

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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 ruling permanent.

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."

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