Microsoft Extends MS Javas Shelf Life

Microsoft gives its Java virtual machine technology a three-year reprieve in the wake of its antitrust settlement with Sun Microsystems. But don't expect any new MSJVM enhancements.

In the wake of its recent sweeping antitrust suit settlement over Java with Sun Microsystems Inc., Microsoft has extended support for the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MSJVM) by three years.

Until last week, Microsoft was set to terminate support for MSJVM—as well as a number of key Microsoft products that include the MSJVM code—on Sept. 30.

On April 8, Microsoft posted to its Web site an update on its MSJVM phase-out plans. Microsoft and Sun have agreed to "extend Microsofts license to use Suns Java source code and compatibility test suites," according to the site. As a result, Microsoft will continue to support the MSJVM until Dec. 31, 2007.

The news isnt all positive for MSJVM advocates, however. Microsoft currently is not planning any future support for the MSJVM after 2007. After that date, "there will be no enhancements to the MSJVM. Microsoft products and SKUs currently including the MSJVM will continue to be retired or replaced by versions not containing the MSJVM on a schedule to be announced," the text on the Microsoft site said.

Microsoft is encouraging its customers who rely on MSJVM or products containing the MSJVM code to migrate away from those platforms, and is making a number of tools and migration guides available to encourage them to do so.

Much of the brouhaha over Microsofts support of Java dates back to 1997, when Sun, the creator of Java, for what Sun claimed was Microsofts improper use of Suns Java technology.


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