Thursday, September 16, 2021

Microsoft Goes On Offensive in Sun Antitrust Case

Microsoft late Friday accused Sun Microsystems
of violating California law by engaging in unfair
competition.

Microsoft is seeking attorney’s fees and damages for what it says is Sun’s
violation of a settlement it struck concerning the Java programming language
back in 2001.

Sun said it will respond to Microsoft’s latest legal move and is expected to
make counterclaims when, and if the Sun-Microsoft antitrust case goes to
trial. The actual date of a planned trial has yet to be set.

Currently, the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia has put on
hold a lower court ruling that orders Microsoft to distribute a new version
of Java for Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

In Microsoft’s latest legal filing it aims to refute charges levied by Sun
last year, and goes onto to make several counterclaims. Microsoft claims Sun
was in breach of a January 2001 settlement agreement, which it says violated
the California business and professional code.

Microsoft makes the counterclaim that Sun broke a contract signed by both
companies that it claims allowed Microsoft to distribute its own version of
Java. Microsoft is asking the court to authorize it to builds its own Java
Virtual Machine in Windows XP, and to uphold an agreement that would allow
it to do so through 2008.

The 4th Circuit court has said it will hear Microsoft’s appeal of the
preliminary injunction for it to incorporate Java in Windows. At that time
both Sun and Microsoft will have 20 minutes to present their side of the
case.

Sun is expected to argue that Microsoft has failed to port its Office
software suite competing platforms, such as Java. By doing this, Sun
contends Microsoft is extending its monopoly to its .NET platform and in the
process essentially forcing customers to buy its Exchange Server, Internet
Information Server and SQL Server products.

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