Editors Note: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent a company-wide e-mail to Microsoft employees on Friday, outlining for them the terms of the $1.6 billion Sun settlement/technology pact between the two companies.
Here is the text of Ballmers e-mail obtained by Microsoft Watch:
Today Im pleased to announce that Microsoft and Sun Microsystems have settled all of the pending litigation between our two companies, and entered into a broad technology collaboration that will provide a new framework for our two companies to cooperate and compete in a more constructive manner going forward.
This agreement represents a dramatic event in the industry. While it doesnt change the fact that we compete, it does mean that Microsoft and Sun will be working together in ways that we havent in the past. This agreement is good news for Microsoft, good news for the industry, and good news for customers and developers.
Under the agreement:
Each company will provide the other with greater access to technology that will help promote interoperability, enabling Sun and Microsoft to develop products that work better together. Virtually every large IT customer has a "mixed" computing environment; this agreement will help IT managers to run their mixed systems.
Sun has also agreed to take a license for the Windows desktop operating system communications protocols under the program established through our consent decree in the United States.
In addition, Microsoft and Sun will work together to improve the technical compatibility between our .Net platform and their Java technologies.
Microsoft will also be able to provide product support for the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine that our customers have deployed in our products. Without this agreement, our ability to provide support for our JVM customers would have expired in a few months.
Microsoft and Sun have agreed to a broad covenant not to sue each other with respect to any past patent infringement claims, and will embark on negotiations for a forward-looking patent cross-license.
To read the full memo on Microsoft Watch, click here.