Its Official: Microsoft Must Ship Java

Judge Motz formally orders the software giant to start shipping Java with Windows XP.

A federal judge Tuesday formally ordered Microsoft Corp. to start shipping Sun Microsystems Inc.s Java with Windows, an order the software giant said it will appeal.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz officially entered the preliminary injunction just more than a month after the two parties argued the issue in his court. Motz decided in Suns favor last month, but heard further arguments as to how Microsoft would comply with the order. The two sides worked out final wording on the order, and Suns local attorney delivered the companys proposed order to Motz on Monday. However, with the court closed for the federal holiday, Motz, who received the order while working Monday, could not officially enter it until Tuesday morning.

Microsoft now has 120 days to comply with the order, although Motz has issued a temporary stay of the order so that the U.S. Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., can review the case.

"We will file a notice of appeal in the district court and then will file a motion for stay with the Fourth Circuit and a motion with the Fourth Circuit for an expedited appeal," said Jim Desler, a spokesman for Microsoft. "We will request that the Fourth Circuit stay the injunction until it has completed its review of our appeal."

Desler added: "While we pursue our appeal, Microsoft will take the steps necessary to fully comply with todays order."

In a statement, Lee Patch, vice president of strategic litigation at Sun, said, "Sun is grateful to the Court for its thorough review of the issues and its speedy implementation of this important Order. This preliminary injunction is a huge victory for consumers who will soon have the best, latest Java technology on their PCs. It is also a victory for enterprises and for the worldwide Java community of developers and system vendors."

According to the order, Microsoft must ship a Sun-compatible Java run-time with Windows XP. The injunction will remain in effect until the two parties get to trial in Suns private antitrust suit against Microsoft.

"Although we do not agree that Sun is entitled to this injunction, we did follow up on the courts guidance last week and worked with Sun to address the courts objectives," Desler said. "Todays order represents our effort to formulate a clear approach that will minimize, to the extent possible, disruptions and adverse consequences to the industry and to consumers from todays court-mandated injunction."