Microsoft Wont Ship Java—Yet

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-02-04 Print this article Print

Appeals court says Microsoft will not have to include Sun's Java Runtime Environment in Windows and Internet Explorer until it reviews the case.

Microsoft Corp. will not have to include Sun Microsystems Inc.s latest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in Windows and Internet Explorer until the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reviewed the case. The U.S. Appeals Court on Monday granted Microsoft a stay of the Jan. 21preliminary injunction by Judge J. Frederick Motz of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, which ordered Microsoft to include Suns JRE with Windows and Internet Explorer going forward, and enjoined Microsoft from certain separate or stand-alone distributions of its own Java virtual machine (JVM). The appeals court on Monday also agreed to hear Microsofts appeal on an expedited basis. That decision now suspends Motzs injunction until the appeals court decides whether or not to uphold his order. A hearing has not been scheduled as yet.
Microsoft welcomed the move, but Lee Patch, Suns vice president of legal affairs, said in a statement that the decision was regrettable as the preliminary injunctions granted by the district court would benefit consumers and the Java communitys developers, enterprises and system vendors.
The stay also came just hours after Microsoft posted a letter on its Web site, addressed to all its customers, in which the Redmond, Wash., software company said it has started to comply with last months ruling. In the letter, Microsoft said that, effective Monday, it was replacing XP Service Pack 1Windows with an updated version of the service pack, Windows XP SP1a, which does not include its own JVM. It will also start offering, in early June, a separate version of SP1, known as SP 1b, which will include Suns JRE, it added. In a strongly worded statement in the letter to customers, Microsoft said that "one thing is very clear: Windows customers are not required to take any action as a result of the District Courts order, including downloading the updated versions of Windows XP SP1." The upcoming Windows Server 2003, scheduled for release in late April, was "not impacted by the District Courts order and will include neither the Microsoft Virtual Machine nor Suns JRE," the company said. If Microsoft loses on appeal, it will also distribute Suns JRE with future versions of Windows, including the next client version, code-named Longhorn and due for release in late 2004. It would also then no longer include its VM in future versions of or updates to Windows, including Windows 2000 SP4, Microsoft said in the customer letter.
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    Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

    He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

    He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

    He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

    He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

    He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

    His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

    For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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