Judge Reviewing Java Plan Proposed by Sun, Microsoft

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Judge J. Frederick Motz said he will review a new joint proposal given to him Monday evening that will outline the steps Microsoft Corp and Sun Microsystems will go about releasing an updated version of the Windows operating system, so that it will include Sun's Java programming language.

Judge Motz said he is reviewing the proposal and could issue a ruling, possibly as early as Tuesday. Back in December, Judge Motz issued a preliminary injunction forcing Microsoft to include Sun's Java programming language in an updated version of Microsoft's market dominant Windows operating system software.

But up until last week, legal teams from Microsoft and Sun continued to disagree on the specific terms by which Judge Motz's injunction would be implemented. Then last Wednesday, Judge Motz made it clear there will be no more feet dragging, and he said that once he issues his formal order, Microsoft will have 120 days to put Java in a new version of Microsoft's Windows XP.

From all indications, Judge Motz will review the order issued to his court by lawyers from Microsoft and Sun, and is expected to sign it, if it passes his legal review. Nevertheless, Microsoft has said it will still appeal Judge Motz's injunction, and he has said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia would be given a two-week stay to review any details of his injunction, and the subsequent agreement between the two sides.

In an effort to find agreement, Microsoft and Sun lawyers worked through the weekend to arrive on their proposal to the Federal bench. And despite the agreement between the two sides, Sun is still moving forward with its $1 billion anti-trust suit against Microsoft, alleging it squelched competition by undermining Sun's Java programming language.

The technical and timing details of the Microsoft-Sun agreement are expected to be disclosed in court documents to be issued, as early as Tuesday. But it remains to be seen, if the Court of Appeals will intervene, or support Judge Motz's injunction and the agreement by the two computer software companies.

Back in 2001, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reviewed the government suit against Microsoft and said the company illegally maintained its monopoly through the Windows operating system. However, the Appeals court rejected the proposal to break Microsoft into two separate companies in an effort to prevent future violations of its monopoly.

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