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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-01-10 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


: Mixed Ruling in Microsoft-Sun Case"> Meanwhile, Day claimed Microsoft not only harmed Java, but also harmed Sun in both the PC operating system market and Web browser market because Sun had products in both—Solaris for Intel and the HotJava browser. Larrabee told the judge "dont be fooled by that," noting that Sun was never seriously trying to market either offering. In the Burst.com case, Charles Douglas, an attorney for Microsoft, argued that Burst.com was not a competitor to Microsoft or a customer and was not entitled to an antitrust claim. He said the companys claims then become more of an intellectual property issue.
"They tried to piggyback on the governments case and make antitrust claims," he said.
Yet, Judge Motz apparently didnt see it that way. Spencer Hosie, an attorney representing Burst.com, said he was pleased with the judges decision and was excited to have an opportunity to try Burst.coms case on the merits. Burst.com claims Microsoft took its trade secrets and used the technology in the latest version of its Windows media player. The move, the company alleges, helped Microsoft maintain its PC operating system monopoly while severely hampering Burst.com. Hosie said MS either crushed or coerced other players in the market —namely RealNetworks and Intel —and reached non-compete agreements with them "until it could roll out its own product, which is essentially Burstware with a Microsoft logo on it."
Meanwhile, Microsoft accused its opponents of "piling on" following a favorable ruling by a U.S. District Court in a federal antitrust suit against the company. Regarding Be, Microsoft attorney Mike Shepard, said: "This is a claim that needs to be dismissed because here we have Be not offering a peep to Microsoft or to a court or to its shareholders for three years. Then they see [U.S. District] Judge Jacksons opinion and say woo-hoo, maybe we can pile on here!" Indeed, the Microsoft opponents in court Friday also sought to seize on Motzs preliminary injunction ruling of last month. "This court rejected Microsofts claim that Sun has no reason to get a must-carry provision because Sun should have gone on to create its own distribution channel," said Steve Susman. "If Sun is allowed to force Microsoft to ship Java, Be should be allowed to require Bes OS to ship with the Windows operating system." At that, Motz warned that the preliminary injunction ruling might have "no implication in this context." He said that the ruling "might have a very short shelf life so it might be dangerous to rely on." Susman argued that pre-installation of the Be OS by OEMs was the only strategy by which BE could effectively distribute its operating system, and that Microsoft killed that option through exclusive deals with the OEMs. In addition, Susman said, Microsofts "pollution of Internet standards" prevented Be from getting access to developers and was intended to foreclose the development of technologies that might be competitive to Windows. (Editors Note: This story has been updated throughout the day to include breaking developments in the cases.)


 
 
 
 
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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