The judge in the Sun Microsystems Inc. versus Microsoft Corp. antitrust case has given Microsoft 120 days to comply with his order that it make Java available with Windows.
During a long late-day hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz made a series of decisions key to the case, including giving Microsoft four months to comply with his "must-carry" order regarding Java and Windows XP.
However, citing Microsofts plans to appeal the ruling, Motz placed a two-week stay on the order to allow the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to review Microsofts request for a stay pending appeal.
Although Motz has not yet issued a final order, based on issues covered Wednesday evening in court Microsoft will be required to provide a Sun-compatible Java runtime with Windows XP, but not with any older versions of the operating system.
A Sun spokeswoman said the judge asked Suns attorneys to submit a proposed order next Monday reflecting all the issues covered in Wednesdays hearing. Motz will issue a final order sometime later next week.
In addition to the proposed order, Motz ruled on Microsofts requests to dismiss many of Suns claims in the case. In a hearing last Friday, Motz delayed ruling on several of the claims, specifically seven "tying" claims Sun leveled against Microsoft—relating to the companys bundling of its operating system with its browser. Wednesday, Motz rejected Microsofts motion to dismiss those claims. Motz also reversed an earlier decision and rejected Microsofts motions to dismiss Suns claims against the software giant for illegally abusing a PC operating system monopoly and a Web browser monopoly. During last Fridays hearing, Motz initially granted Microsofts motions to dismiss these claims, but said he would allow Sun to amend them.
Following the issuance of a final order on the preliminary injunction next week, the two-week stay will begin—after which Microsoft will have to comply with the order pending a stay by the appellate court.
Sun requested the must-carry proviso as a preliminary injunction to be implemented while the two sides await trial in Suns antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Motz made his ruling on the issue last month following three days of arguments in his Baltimore court.
Both sides submitted their proposed orders to the court on Monday. Last Friday, during a hearing before Motz, Matthew Larrabee, an attorney for Microsoft, said he anticipated a high degree of variation in the proposed orders coming from Sun and Microsoft.
However in Wednesdays hearing, Motz showed that he saw things more Suns way than Microsofts, shooting down the software giants request for six months to comply with the order as opposed to four. Motz also indicated he would enter Suns proposed order largely intact.
The hearing, which began at 4:30 p.m., ran until nearly 9 p.m.