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Java by Microsoft?

Sun Microsystems Inc. lost a crucial round in its fight to retain full rights to the Java programming language which ensured Microsoft's products were in full compliance.

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, Calif., ruled that a preliminary injunction he issued against Microsoft in November does not prohibit the Redmond, Wash.-based company from developing its own independent version of the Java programming language.

The court ruled three months ago that Microsoft was to change settings in Windows 98, Internet Explorer and Visual J++ within three months so they all met the Sun testing standard for Java-enabled software. The new ruling clarifies the previous one so that Microsoft is cleared to develop its own form of the programming language.

Sun's biggest gripe was with Visual J++. When the product was first released in 1997, it came with the ability to write Java code that was Windows-specific instead of platform-independent, Sun's long term vision for all software. The preliminary injunction in November did not rule out that function in J++ but Sun did win the default setting that was set to Windows-specific. It now will be turned to regular Java.

The setback for Sun is temporary, however, and the Journal reports that Sun has received a hearing date on March 12 to discuss forbidding Microsoft from creating its own version of Java. There's already been an appeal on the original injunction by Microsoft so there's still an appellate debate to come as well. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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