Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Java Programming

Appeals Court Sides With Microsoft On Java 517

burgburgburg writes "Reuters reports that the three-member federal appeals court in Virginia ruled today the U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz erred when he ordered Microsoft to include Java with the Windows operating system. Fortunately, Dell and HP, the top 2 PC makers, have already decided to ship Java on the PCs that they sell. Apple, Red Hat and Lindows have also agreed to include Sun's Java." The ruling is available.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Appeals Court Sides With Microsoft On Java

Comments Filter:
  • actually, (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:23PM (#6305330)
    i think Red Hat includes IBM's implementation, and Apple uses their own impl.
    • Re:actually, (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, but they are all based on Sun's Java.
    • Re:actually, (Score:4, Informative)

      by leifm ( 641850 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:41PM (#6305525)
      Yeah, I thought that was the case as well. Doesn't Apple have the only Java implementation that doesn't spawn a new VM for each new app? I can't remember what the terminology for it was.
      • Re:actually, (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Suppafly ( 179830 )
        Yeah, I thought that was the case as well. Doesn't Apple have the only Java implementation that doesn't spawn a new VM for each new app? I can't remember what the terminology for it was.

        I wish sun would jump on that bandwagon, I'm sick of a new 30 meg vm opening everytime i visit a webpage with a java applet. You'd think a virtual machine, much like a regular machine, could handle more than one program at a time.
        • I think you need the separate VM or at least separate out memory spaces to avoid potential object conflicts.

          Say you have an applet that uses a Singleton type object in the core VM. So, you're counting on this one instance and probably are setting values on it. (Oh, let's say the object as an example.) Now along comes another applet that wants to load in it's own set of properties to work with. Obviously you both expect things to remain the way they are and changes could be quite "inte
        • Re:actually, (Score:4, Informative)

          by SashaM ( 520334 ) <msasha&gmail,com> on Friday June 27, 2003 @12:22AM (#6308630) Homepage
          I don't know what Java Plugin you're using, but Applets already run all in the same JVM for all Browsers and JVMs I know. The problem is with multiple applications in the same JVM, which expect everything to close down when System.exit() is invoked (and other sharing issues). See the RFE on this issue []
      • by kenthorvath ( 225950 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:55PM (#6306256)
        Yeah, I thought that was the case as well. Doesn't Apple have the only Java implementation that doesn't spawn a new VM for each new app? I can't remember what the terminology for it was.

        Efficient, I think is the term you are looking for, perhaps also see good, nice, cost-effective, and elegant. Now as an excersise to the reader I leave you the task of assigning some terms to Microsoft products... (grin)...

      • Re:actually, (Score:5, Informative)

        by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:05PM (#6306360) Homepage
        No, they still spawn a new VM for each new app, you can't get around that limitation. Too many of the core classes are coded in such a way that you cannot get around that. (it's because of the static member variables)

        However, Apple's vm is basically sun's VM with some enhancements. First of all there's the Java-Cocoa(Objc) bridge that lets a developer write a java backend with a Obj-C native Cocoa front end. Secondly, the feature you may have heard about that saves much time and reuses code is that the VM caches on disk the HotSpot compliation of the Java byte code. The way it works is that Java code is compiled to JAva byte code by the developer. The VM then compiles byte code to it's own internal representation for eventual compiliation to native code. This code is normally intrepreted, but when a section of code is 'hotspotted' it is then compiled to native code. Apple modified the vm to save the internal representation of the bytecode to disk and use this in the VM. This is automatically done for all core classes at install time and on the fly for other Java code.

        Sun is supposedly looking into a way to extend it to other applications. Though only in client application does this make much difference because in server applications classes don't get loaded a lot. (except for JSPs but you really shouldn't be doing cpu intensive stuff in the JSP code, but in a library function)

      • Re:actually, (Score:5, Informative)

        by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:15PM (#6306448) Homepage
        Apple's implementation does start up a new JVM instance for every applet/application but the JVM's all use shared code and loaded jar instances. So it is like starting up a new task which links against the same set of shared libraries/frameworks as other tasks.

        Additionally Apple provides, by default, installations of 1.3.1 and 1.4.1 in a fixed and standardized location, generally following the deployment style other the frameworks provided on the system. They are also updated automatically as needed via the normal Apple Software Update process, just like any other framework/application/etc...

        They go out of their way to discourage application developers from installing their own JRE's, it is not needed, it wastes space, and actually could lead to compatibility issues (the JRE they install could be in compatible with the OS version installed, etc.)

        Apple tests and maintains correct versions of their JREs for you, they are considered as part of the OS. This is very nice. Why should Java be different then any other OS framework?

        I do find it funny that it is worded as saying that Apple has "also agreed to include Sun's Java". Apple goes out of their way to provide Java on Mac OS X, its Apple's JVM/etc. implementation not Sun's.

      • Re:actually, (Score:3, Informative)

        by Golthar ( 162696 )
        Sun is working on this issue together with Apple and are in the process of merging their code.
        At first they expected it in 1.4.2, but because the code is not stable yet, they haven't released a new date

        Java chat on 1.4.2 []


        Filip: Startup performance is better in this release, but you only achieve about 1.3.1 startup performance with 1.4.2. Is there going to be some work in the Tiger release to further speed up startup? Also, why is shared VM dropped from 1.4.2, and can we expect it in Tiger?

        Ken Rus
    • Re:actually, (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:42PM (#6305534)
      Not anymore. RedHat will now bundle Sun's Java implementation. I believe there's a link to this on Sun's website somewhere.
      At my client's site, they had a symposium with the chief technologist from Sun, Brian Wilson, a couple of weeks ago and he announced the agreement between RH and Sun.
    • I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that these Java nerds have started to commit suicide under the walls of Microsoft. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly. I can assure you that those villains will recognize, will discover in appropriate time in the future how stupid they are and how they are pretending things which have never been a reality, this Java.
  • MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffkjo1 ( 663413 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:25PM (#6305346) Homepage
    While I agree that MS has erred in the past, they shouldn't be forced to carry another company's product within their product.

    However, they should not be allowed to continue carrying their own, proprietary version of java. Does the ruling say anything about that?
    • They should be able include their own java - as long as they don't call it java, or use the same file names, etc. I suppose that being generous, I wouldn't mind to much if they called it a Java implementation.

      Not having RTFA or being able to remember enough background, but shouldn't/didn't Sun sue them over the name and non-standard implementation?
    • While I agree that MS has erred in the past, they shouldn't be forced to carry another company's product within their product.

      However, they should not be allowed to continue carrying their own, proprietary version of java. Does the ruling say anything about that?

      They've errored in the past. Multiple times.

      The only answer is that they are an unfit company and should be disbanded.

      (This would be the case if it wasn't for Market Share, Politicing, etc.)

      They are in a position where they are above the rules
    • Re:MS (Score:2, Informative)

      by getling ( 114602 )
      Yes, the ruling only partly strikes down the injuction; MS still cannot ship their own version of java, but they are not forced to include Sun's version.

      In granting the mandatory injunction, the district court acknowledged that its "must-carry" mandatory preliminary injunction was unprecedented, but explained it was necessary in the extraordinary circumstances of this case to prevent future "tipping" from Sun to Microsoft in an emerging middleware market - a market for "general purpose, Internet-enable

    • Re:MS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rearden ( 304396 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:19PM (#6305872) Homepage
      Something to keep in mind is that MS does not offer a newer version of Java because of Sun. A while back Sun sued MS for offering an implementation of Java that was not fully compatiable with Java.

      As part of the settlement MS was barred by Sun from shipping a newer version of Java or updating the current version. Microsoft actually had to go back to Sun to get permission to fix some bugs/ security holes in the old Java runtime.

      Really, Sun is a victim of its own foolishness. Yeah, MS was selling a broken implementation, and yes they should have been stopped. But preventing MS from shipping any JRE they developed in house simply meant that they would basically ship nothing (as XP does not ship with Java, it must be downloaded- either MS's old Java or Sun's lastest JRE). Now that they stopped them they said "Hey, no one is using the new stuff on Windows!?!?"- well DUH! Most Windoz users have no idea about Java, no less who makes it or if they needed (heck most dont know about Flash)

      I am sorry, I feel no pity for Sun here. They may not have started this fight or layed the foundation, but they certainly built upon it with the settlement they hammered out with MS on Java a long time ago.

      Just my $0.002
  • by mhesseltine ( 541806 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:25PM (#6305347) Homepage Journal

    It isn't Microsoft's job to promote Java, it's the job of Sun and the resellers (Dell, Gateway, HPaq, etc.) If MS wants to include Java, that's their perogative. However, they shouldn't be required to; any more than Red Hat should be required to distribute Realplayer (for example).

    • by deanj ( 519759 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:29PM (#6305386)
      Taken alone, that's true...however...

      But the reason they were told to do this by the lower court was because of what Microsoft had tried to do with Java in the first place, which is splinter the market by shipping a version of Java that would only create programs that would only Windows systems.
      • But the reason they were told to do this by the lower court was because of what Microsoft had tried to do with Java in the first place, which is splinter the market by shipping a version of Java that would only create programs that would only Windows systems.

        True. But this means that the court should do something along the lines of squashing that version of Java, not promoting the "real" one.
        • by deanj ( 519759 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:39PM (#6305506)
          But that's what the lower court did!

          At the time this was going on, Microsoft was still distributing their version. The courts response was, ship the compatible one instead.

          The damage already done, Microsoft said "well, we won't ship any at all".

          Fortunately, Dell and HP have already picked up the ball and will be distributing it anyway.
        • by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:43PM (#6305547) Homepage Journal
          Untrue because that version of java was self-squashed by definition. Recall that it purposely sucked.

          The proper remedy is to make an attempt to force MS to provide Sun with what they illegally took away. Market opportunity.
        • True. But this means that the court should do something along the lines of squashing that version of Java, not promoting the "real" one.

          The court was doing something about squashing that version of java. The court forced MS to ship the real Java to undo the damage that MS did with thier fake windows only version of "java".

          However, by now the damage should have been undone, and the market should have adapted, so this is a real big *yawn* story. Yeah, MS "won" this round, but the previous ruling did th

      • And the correct response to that violation is not to force them to ship Sun's Java implementation. Rather it is to fine them and require them to either 1) Ship a "real" Java runtime (which could be anyone's implementation - including Microsoft's) 2) Ship no Java runtime at all
    • ok. i agree with you in part. but M$ can also make it hard to install java and hard to make it compatable with their browser and OS. can you say "hidden APIs" anyone? and just when sun figures it out there will be an update/patch that will change things around again.
      • ok. i agree with you in part. but M$ can also make it hard to install java and hard to make it compatable with their browser and OS. can you say "hidden APIs" anyone? and just when sun figures it out there will be an update/patch that will change things around again.

        Ok, yes, MS could make it difficult to install Sun Java. And yes, MS does have access to all the APIs for Windows. But, what stops Sun from making interaction with other Windows applications difficult? What stops Redhat from not serving pages

    • by fritz1968 ( 569074 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:35PM (#6305461)
      It isn't Microsoft's job to promote Java...

      I agree, only Sun has an obligation to promote Java. However, I thought that Microsoft signed a deal with Sun a while back to include JAVA with windows.

      Over the years, it went something like this :
      1 - MS and Sun sign a deal to include Java in Windows.
      2 - MS kinda created their own version of Java (or polluted Sun's version with MS-only type calls).
      3 - Sun sued MS to pull the MS version of Java
      4 -then they sued to have the original Java (or latest version of Sun's Java) to be put back into windows.
      5 - Now, so it seems, MS is legally able to backout on the original deal

      does that sound about right (generally speaking)?
      • Yes, that sounds right. However, if Sun didn't really lock down the contract with MS about what constituted "Java" then I really can't feel sorry for them.

        With corporate America having legal departments bigger than most law firms, that kind of screw up is inexcusable.

    • by Surak ( 18578 ) *
      No, it's not. I agree mostly. But Microsoft also shouldn't be engaging in anticompetitive behaviour and violating their contract with Sun by including their own broken implentation of Java. If Windows isn't going to include a proper implementation of Java (whether that be Sun's or a version of Microsoft's that conforms to standards), then it shouldn't include one at all.

    • "At the same time, the appeals judges upheld a lower court ruling that Microsoft had broken a 2001 legal settlement between the companies and infringed on Sun's copyrights. They sent the case back to the lower-court judge, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, for further proceedings."


      " Sun, which is seeking $1 billion in damages, charges Microsoft's acts against Java include polluting a version of the software and dropping it from Windows XP"

      Its not MS's "job", but it could be their legal responsib
    • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:44PM (#6306158)
      You obviously never followed the topic.

      The "Insightful" moderation is simply sad.

      This is more like you burning down my house, on purpose, and a judge says I'm allowed to live in your house until restitution is made by you, while my house is being rebuilt. Then, these other judges come along and say, "woe", that doesn't make any sense. Even though you burned down my house on purpose, you shouldn't be held responsible unless the on-going legal action says otherwise. In the mean time, I have to go live under a bridge while you and the judges all laugh at me.

      This has nothing to do with marketing or product promotion. This has to do with holding Microsoft responsible for it's very illegal and harmful activities.
  • by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:25PM (#6305350) Homepage Journal
    Three members of the federal appeals court have just purchased Ferraris.
  • Makes sense.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lowe0 ( 136140 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:26PM (#6305355) Homepage
    Dell and HP are where I'd expect Sun to have to push Java - do an end-run around MS and deal with the OEMs. Now, if MS were preventing the OEMs from bundling Java, that would be different - but they're specifically barred from doing that anymore, and IMO rightly so.

    Isn't middleware more of a server issue nowadays anyway? And how hard is it to include a runtime with your software?
  • Well, as long as PC retailers can add the software their customers ask for without barriers from Microsoft. Microsoft can keep it out of their OS.

    Thing is, Microsoft should be forced not to put any barriers for Java to run properly in their OS.
  • by ikewillis ( 586793 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:27PM (#6305366) Homepage
    By including an outdated and broken version of Java with Windows by default, Microsoft has effectively doomed Java on the desktop. This build has lead to a degree of fragmentation of the Java standard, has caused Java application developers to code their applications to support the lowest common denominator, the JRE bundled with Windows.

    It's very exciting to see OEMs bundling a recent Java runtime with their new systems, especially Dell who is the largest OEM. Perhaps with this application developers can have a bit more freedom to code their applications in a manner which utilizes more recent features. There's no reason why everyone shouldn't be using the 1.4 JRE at this point in time.
    • by poptones ( 653660 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:16PM (#6305823) Journal
      More importantly than that, it also caused tens of thousands os users to say "well, java never works right on this machine anyway" at which point they just disable it because they fear it might be a "security problem" and it's so incredibly easy to just shut it down completely.

      In a way, shipping the "broken" java was doing Sun more harm than not shiping java at all, since it gave MS so many more opportunities to make java look bad.

    • I don't buy the "lowest common denominator" nonsense that some people are shoveling. That may have been true for browsers wrt html support and display resolutions, I don't believe it translates to Java. Consider this -

      All the customer cares about is ease of use during the installation process. With InstallAnywhere virtually free (and I can't recall the name of the project that *is* actually free) - distributing your product is easy and transparent to the user.

      Just to play games, let's assume that some
  • Still... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward has a much better market share than .net/ActiveX, and developers will continue using it. All the harm here is on Windows users, who will have to download a JRE.

    Getting too much pr0n? []
  • Good news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkBlackFox ( 643814 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:29PM (#6305384)
    At least now they are required to implement at least one non-Microsoft standard, which could come in handy considering they will no longer release Internet Explorer as a standalone product.

    It would seriously protect against businesses having to rely on .NET and other proprietary MS languages (forcing OS upgrades to obtain the new required features), as well as keep alternate browsers a viable solution.
  • MS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pnix ( 682520 )
    I may hate Microsoft, but I do side with them in this case. Forcing M$ to include Java is stupid, they can do whatever they want with their product. That would be like forcing Linux users to install Internet Explorer or something silly like that!
  • That big a deal? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Xentax ( 201517 )
    This is about whether or not the Java Runtime should be bundled with Windows, right? If I'm off-base here, please enlighten me.

    I'm as against anti-trust as the next guy, but I can see why forcing MS to bundle Java (or, for contrast, a similar plugin e.g. Flash or Shockwave) is going too far.

    Mainly, it would place an additional support burden on MS that's not really appropriate -- they'd have to keep up with versioning, deal with customers who are confused as to who services it, etc.

    Anyone who's smart eno
    • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:34PM (#6305447)
      This serves as restitution for bundling a broken version of Java whose purpose was to destroy the viability of Java. This was seen as illegal abuse of monopoly power.

      They could have avoided this by:

      1. Including Sun's Java from the get-go; or
      2. Not including a broken Java with the OS.
    • by VGR ( 467274 )
      Anyone who's smart enough to distinguish it as belonging to Sun rather than MS should be smart enough to go find it on their own (these days; granted at the original time of the suit perhaps it wasn't nearly so straightforward), and it *is* free, after all.

      Depends on your definition of "free." Not everyone has the bandwidth to download a 20-megabyte JRE on a whim. And we need to consider the laziness factor which has helped MS do so well all these years: the average dumb user is always more inclined to

  • Good! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mhore ( 582354 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:30PM (#6305397)
    At the risk of being redundant, I've just got to say that I'd much rather have like, Sun's or IBM's Java package than Microsoft's.

    Since Java is not Microsoft's product, it only makes sense that PC manufacturers should be the ones distributing it by default (if they see the need).

  • They shouldn't be legally required to include it, but we should, as developers, code in such a way to JRE is the only way to go. If M$ wants to use their own Java Virtual Machine, fine, but we need to make sure that they have little choice but to make it compatible with the rest of the world.

    I'm personally not going to go out of my way to recode everything so I have to make two seperate binaries, one for windows, and one for everyone else. The whole point of Java is that I shouldn't have to do that.
  • WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    That doesn't make much sense:
    would have forced Microsoft Corp. to incorporate Sun Microsystems Inc's Java programming language
    Windows OS doesn't have anything to do with "Java programming language". So what if you have to download the Java SDK or JRE stuff? Windows can't get a beer out of the fridge for you after work either, but I don't hear people whining about that...yet.
  • Jumbo Java (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spector30 ( 319592 )
    I say fix the whole lot at MS by not installing their software. Use Linux, use OS X. Anything but the effluence flowing from the filthy beast. Maybe if more people stopped complaining about MS and started doing something about it, with their pocket-books and wallets, the whole point here would be moot.

    It's similar to the whole controversy over the 7 dirty words that you can't say on the radio or television. There was never a need to ban those words. There are two options; turn the channel, or turn it
  • by deanj ( 519759 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:33PM (#6305428)
    Since the HP and Dell announcements, this is pretty much a moot point anyway.

    The real problem of all this is that Microsoft has walked away from the whole "let's release an incompatible version of Java", with only a "don't do that" slap on the wrist. The monopoly remains intact, and unpunished.

    This should be a chilling reminder to anyone that does ANYTHING with Microsoft. If they're gonna screw you, don't expect them to be punished for it, no matter what happens.
  • by rexguo ( 555504 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:33PM (#6305434) Homepage
    Well Sun has finally figured that it's futile to force M$ to include Java with its OS and has done a great job convincing the major PC makers to include Java instead. With the new logo and new website designed for the average joe, Sun has finally decided to do something about its branding, and making Java a household name. The Christina Aguilera (sp?) promo was a smart move in collaboration with Motorola, but I feel the handset design was a disappointment. Sun may have lost the desktop war forever, but its enterprise presence (J2EE) is strong despite .NET's aggression and its mobile presence (J2ME) is way-ahead of WinCE/Windows Mobile. Nokia's debut of the first MIDP2 phone (6600) is a great win at this year's JavaOne. With its share prices dropping ~92% in 3 years, it's now going to be make or break for Sun.
  • Challenge (Score:2, Funny)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
    Find 10 suits who know the diff between MS and SUN Java and I'll give you 100$ [subject to my approval]

  • Duh... (Score:2, Funny)

    by essdodson ( 466448 )
    Come on Sun. Wake up, you're looking like SCO. Hey, so is your stock!
  • by foxtrot ( 14140 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:36PM (#6305470)
    On the one hand, if Microsoft doesn't want to sell their product with Sun's Java, I don't think they should have to.

    On the other hand, if they're gonna include something and call it Java, it should damned well BE Java.

    • by j3110 ( 193209 ) <> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @06:31PM (#6306986) Homepage
      Well, the problem was going to be Microsoft shipping their technology for free, and no competition (IE, they were going to do the same thing they were doing to netscape). They are going to ship .Net runtimes, and then all the programers have one extra reason to program for .Net that they don't Java, which tilts the scales of fair competition toward MS. That's what this case was about.

      The other cases in the past were about MS shipping broken versions of the JRE that actually caused Java more harm than good. SUN had an agreement with MS a long time ago to let them continue shipping theing JRE because MS clients were reliant on their JRE at the time (but that didn't change because MS didn't give them any incentive to change until .Net). Now that things have changed (.Net) it would follow that MS clients would no longer need the JRE MS ships.

      When you combine these two arguements, the logical arguement is to A) prevent MS from shipping .Net with the OS (like they were going to do with IE), or B) force them to include competing products (maybe they should have to include perl and python as well?). Either way, it stems from MS's verticle integration in the marketplace giving them an unfair market advantage. If they can hook you on one product, you have to run every peice of the MS puzzle. Java threatens this domination by allowing third party developers to write programs that will run on hardware and operating systems that the developer couldn't have even imagined. This makes software completely unreliant on market fads, and the software improves with the OS, JRE, and hardware. Java doesn't care if you are using MySQL or MSSQL, it's all the same.

      This scares MS a lot, which is why they wanted to mutilate it from the start. If they have control of the VM, they can always make it preform better on their OS and hardware. SUN hasn't taken advantage of Java like this (thus Java on Solaris is horrible compared to windows).

      Basically, this ruling is saying that it is OK for MS to ship products with their operating systems without including 3rd party competing products. It's a complete reversal of the Netscape issue that lead to a government investigation and almost a break up of the MS company. What was wrong before the monopoly investigation (or before Bush took office, your choice) is now just fair trade.
  • Keep Java Pure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cloudgatherer ( 216427 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:37PM (#6305478)
    As a programmer, I really like Java's "write once, run everywhere" motto (while it may not always work out that way in practice). From what I understand, did not have a fully compatible VM, so Sun develops one for download. While I don't think MS should be forced to ship Java, they should be disallowed from trying to hijack Java (hence they went out and made C#).
  • by kremvax ( 307366 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:41PM (#6305526) Homepage
    Even though it's hard to swallow having the government dictate the operating conditions of a company (and include / disavow specific portions and products ) it's important to remember that this is/was a *penalty* for serious antitrust/anticometitive behavior.

    It was a light "slap on the wrist that doesnt really cost much of anything" penalty too.

    Guilt without punishment, well, isn't going to hinder them from this sort of behavior in the future is it.

    I guess there is always justice for those that can afford it.


  • by MikeD83 ( 529104 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:41PM (#6305527)
    I think we can all say that Java is rampant on the Internet. For instance, most online gambling sites use Java user interfaces. The average Joe six pack thinks he got the shaft from his computer company when IE displays a broken icon when he tries to view Java content. Companies such as Dell are bundling Java so their customers won't think they have broken computers.
  • by MidKnight ( 19766 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:43PM (#6305544)
    Most folks here, thus far, are reading the incredibly thin article and thinking "Sounds right -- Microsoft shouldn't be forced to carry a competitor's product. Yea for the court system." The point that they're missing is that the lower court ordered Microsoft to carry Java as a temporary measure until the Sun -vs- Microsoft case was settled. To quote from Motz's original ruling:

    • "Unless Sun is given a fair opportunity to compete in a market untainted by the effects of Microsoft's past antitrust violations, there is a serious risk that in the near future the market will tip in favor of [Microsoft]"

    Motz reasoned that Microsoft had illegally used its monopoly position to do irreparable harm a competitor's product, and that Sun was exceedingly likely to win their suit. This temporary order was necessary to level the playing ground until that suit was carried out.

    Basically, as in all Microsoft's legal troubles, their strategy is to draw out the cases indefinitely until they can leverage their desktop monopoly to the point of making the suit a moot point. Then, they can just settle out of court for chump change. Anyone heard of Netscape?

  • I think... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by qorkfiend ( 550713 )
    the original ruling was meant to prevent Microsoft from deliberately breaking its JVM, defeating the cross-platform goal of Java and preventing large-scale Java development on Windows.

    From the article...

    "Jim Desler, a Microsoft spokesman, says the move relates to its January 2001 legal settlement with Sun, which Microsoft says bars it from making any changes to Sun's underlying Java programming code after next Jan. 2, 2004."

    which makes the original ruling sort of redundant. Microsoft can't touch the code

  • The Contrary View. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:49PM (#6305599) Homepage Journal

    I'm going to take the contrarian view here. :).

    It looks like alot of people here are of the view that the courts shouldn't force one company to bundle the product of another. Fair enough.

    However, at this juncture, the courts might as well tell Microsoft that they can be anti-competitive all they want, as there will never be any real punishments for their actions. Microsoft has benifitted from the fragmentation of Java, through their distribution of an outdated, poorly functional version. And prior to that, they benifitted from their attempts to prevent Java from being a write-once, run-anywhere language.

    At some point, justice has to incorporate the ideal of punishing organizations for their past bahaviour, in order to reduce the benifits of undertaking that behaviour, and in order to curb others from undertaking the same behaviour in the future.

    If I were to go on a spree killing my enemies in society (not that I have any enemies... ;) ), the courts wouldn't haul me up and say "You are hereby enjoined from ever killing anybody ever again", and then setup a panel (that I get to select some of the members of) to make sure I don't. Instead, they'd take away my freedom to do whatever I want, and throw my sorry ass in jail.

    You can't throw a whole company in jail, and in the MS case, nobody has directly died (I realize the extremity of my example :) ) due to MS's actions. But still, there has been zero accountability on their part up to this point. There has been nothing yet to aid the real victims of MS's anticompetitive acts, nor nothing that would really cause MS to want to avoid such acts in the future. Where is the justice in that for the companies who have had their intellictual property values eroded due to Microsoft's acts?

    This was a chance for society to tell Microsoft (and other big computer software companies) that if they don't play fairly, there are consequences. Judge Mott gave a creative ruling that incorporated both punishment for past bad acts, while at the same time helping level and repair the playing field for Sun.

    MS's come-uppance is long overdue. They've destroyed the value of new technologies from their competitors, and thus far, while techinically losing in the eyes of the courts, have gained from the experience. And you're not supposed to be able to gain when you violate the law -- but apparently MS has found that, in their industry, crime does pay.


  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:51PM (#6305618) Homepage
    Maybe my memory is slipping, but wasn't the original problem that the MS version of Java had extra features that only worked on their version? It was compatible with regular Java, and would run all regular Java apps, but it had "extra features" that programmers could use that would make the Java app only work on their JRE. If this is truly the case, why would they have to include Java at all? They were originally told they couldn't ship their Java because it was "broken" (which having extra features is far from broken, not fair maybe, but not broken). So they decided not to ship a JRE at all and Sun sued because they weren't distributing Java at all. It seems when they were distributing a version of Java (although an "extended" one) Sun said don't do that. then when they decided not to ship Java if they couldn;t ship their version, Sun said they have to ship Java. They can't have it both ways. If MS's Java was compliant with the standards, but had extras, it was completely acceptable.
  • by Ath ( 643782 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:53PM (#6305641)
    If you read the appellate court decision, the reason they overturned the injunction is because even the trial court judge stated that Sun could not prove irreparable harm without the injunction. The appellate court (and the trial judge) specifically says that this does not mean Sun cannot still obtain the same result after a trial.

    Please note that the appellate court upheld the part of the injunction preventing Microsoft from shipping a non-compliant JRE.

    The fact is, Sun could still obtain a final order that MS must bundle the Sun JRE with the Windows operating system. But this will only happen after a trial. The injunction here was issued at a preliminary stage of the judicial proceedings. But if you think forcing MS to ship the JRE at any point would be completely inappropriate and only market conditions should rule, you have a gross misunderstanding of antitrust laws and their purposes.

    Microsoft has a monopoly in operating systems for the Intel platform. This is legal fact and Microsoft cannot walk into any court room and claim otherwise. It's been decided already. A monopoly means that market conditions cannot work. Even Adam Smith (you know, that guy who kind of invented capitalism) said that the market cannot work when there is a monopoly. Ensuring the market can still work in a monopoly is the purpose of antitrust laws.

    Now that it is legally established MS has a monopoly, it completely changes how MS can do business in the market. In the case of the JRE, it means Microsoft cannot leverage their monopoly in the OS to obtain a monopoly in another area. You know, like they did with the browser!

    What I expect would be a more likely outcome is that MS has to make a decision. If they want to bundle .NET, then they have to bundle a compliant JRE. Then the market truly would be deciding and it would not be a case of MS simply leveraging the OS monopoly into a new market.

    All that said, the legal nuances are the important point to note from this decision. The appellate court was not saying MS would never have to include the Sun JRE. They were only saying that the legal burden of "irreparable harm" had not been met in order to obtain an injunction. That's why they vacated the order.

  • Excellent (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jack Comics ( 631233 ) *
    As far as I am concerned, this is an excellent thing. I have not used any variation of Java in four years now. I use Windows 2000 Professional as my main operating system at home, and have Microsoft's Java VM completely disabled, as well as any and all scripting support for Java. I also have no other version of Java installed as I make sure everything I download doesn't include Java, so my system is effectively Java-free.

    IMO, Java is extremely slow and very much open to exploits, to the point that I fee
  • by Anonymous Coward
    why all the lawsuits over something that is freely distibuted over the internet and on burned cd's anywhere.... what a waste of money... why force microsoft to include 3rd party apps in its own software package. i mean we dont force any distro of linux to include winamp do we? it would be the same fucking thing..

    most of these MS lawsuits are stupid
  • The idea was that:
    • Microsoft wrote a crippled version under the Java name, which Sun sued over (and won)
    • That they then renamed their "Java" (amongst other things) that, in effect, created a blockade, preventing Sun from reaching the Windows market
    • That Microsoft, as a de-facto monopoly, had certain duties and obligations in allowing competition, which would not normally exist in a genuinely free market
    • That Microsoft had a past history of "knifing the baby" (their words, not mine) when it came to competitor's products - using their enormous capital and userbase to exterminate products that competed with their own
    • That Microsoft - already developing their .NET product - was acting in a manner that would make alternative products impossible, and were likely (based on past experience - re: DR-DOS) to make Java actually impossible to run, whether consumers wanted it or not

    On the basis of all these points, it would be a perfectly normal, natural, sane reaction to say "hey, you can't do that!". The Libertarian view of zero (or near-zero) Government only works if one person doesn't have absolute 100% control over the desktop, the OS, the hardware (they tell Intel what to build!), the API, 95-98% of the consumers, and enough money to buy out dissenters if they somehow survive all of this.

    When someone has absolute control of 5 markets and has declared intent to obtain monopoly over 5 more (portable code, wireless, TV, servers and ISPs), fair competition doesn't exist. Competition in any sense does not exist.

    Should Microsoft actually acquire monopoly status in all ten industries, then Microsoft will be the only voice you will ever hear. Dissent could only be expressed via a Microsoft product and, as such, be eliminated.

    Think about this, for a moment. Microsoft has violated anti-trust laws, been found guilty, continued to violate those same laws, and the States that haven't settled yet are (despite having enough evidence to fight on) unable to do so. Why? Because you can't fight City Hall - when it's a partly-owned subsiduary of a corporate giant.

    We need to remember that this is NOT a typical case. The precedent is unlikely to reoccur even once in the next 300 years. There has never been a power in the US this absolute. This isn't about Us VS Them, or Govt VS People. This is about whether the Right To Choose ANYTHING AT ALL will still exist when 2010 comes round.

    The use of a monopoly in one area to create a monopoly in another is illegal. The use of FIVE monopolies to slowly engulf the entire field of technology should be no more acceptable. It's not as if it's any better!

    People have tried protests. They've tried civil disobedience, even. However, Microsoft aren't a threat to human life, so you can't really call out the National Guard. Libertarians would have us believe that guns can protect our rights. But no gun in the world will protect you against a corporate entity that spans the globe, the minds of people, and even the fabric of our lives.

    There's nothing we can do to stop the rot. The only people who can are the judiciary, because that is what the judiciary is there for. To stop evil that cannot otherwise be touched. To act as a last-ditch defence against things that can escape or evade every other protection we, as individuals, can place in front of us.

    We HAVE to rely on the legal system, because the legal system is the only thing we have left to rely on.

  • by c0d3fu ( 594060 ) <> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:25PM (#6305941) Homepage
    Anyone here surprised? It is difficult to hold Microsoft and hundreds of other M.N.C.'s accountable for their actions as they are having to conform to the rules of individual countries less and less.

    Corporations have become world-wide economies in and of themselves; of the 150 largest economies in the world, 97 are multinational corporations! Their influence upon important governments world-wide is steadily growing as they amass tremendous amounts of wealth and influence. Governments fear cracking down on them for fear of economic and political repercussions. In the last 30 years, new supranational authorities have emerged worldwide; big global players that carry tremendous capacity for power. Microsoft, though off to a poor and late start in this arena, is one of them.

    A software producer can write whatever it wants into its operating system and it is perfectly legal. Though it sounds dreadful, Microsoft advertising its own services in Windows is a huge mistake on the part of the corporation - it will turn large number of people off. That's part of the reason all the .NET promo died off. Competitors such as OSX, Lindows, and Red Hat will gain ground from such nastiness.

    It is easy to criticize Microsoft. Keep in mind that Windows is a standard, something desperately needed in a world with hundreds of different programming languages, operating systems, and a plethora of different types of hardware and (OMG!) media storage out there. Take Sony for instance. Sony uses Stick Media not because it is better, but because it is non-standard and they can charge mucho dinero for it. They could have easily conformed to a standard media with a dozen other companies if it economically beneficial. Granted, everyone is conforming to Microsoftâ(TM)s standards, but itâ(TM)s better than another long-standing war of software standards such as that between IBM-Compatibles and Apple Computers. Even Linux doesnâ(TM)t even conform to a set of unified standards (though United Linux will theoretically change that).

    Microsoft needs reform. It will be difficult to force it to do so, as it has a tremendous amount of influence. Ideally, a global standard operating system needs to be developed. We need a U.N. resolution. :)
  • by Matt Ownby ( 158633 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:32PM (#6306016) Homepage Journal
    The main problem is that the stuff that comes pre-installed with Windows and/or Windows Components (Media Player, Internet Exploder) is the stuff that everyone uses, whether it's better or not.

    If Microsoft suddenly started bundling Quicktime with Windows Media Player and suddenly forced users to manually download and install plug-ins to use file formats such as .WMV or .ASF, do you think any web sites would offer content in .WMV format? No, all web sites would offer stuff in Quicktime format by default because they'd know that they'd be able to reach the greatest number of users CONVENIENTLY. No company is going to want to tell users "We really want you to view our product, but you'll need to download this plugin to do so." All companies will say "We really want you to view our product, therefore we're going to use a format which you know you will already have pre-installed!"

    Microsoft has pulled this BS time and time again. The law ought to be that if Microsoft ships with Windows Media Player pre-installed, that it must also pre-install all of its competitors too. If it ships with Internet Exploder pre-installed, it must ship with other browsers pre-installed too. Yeah this sounds kind of unreasonable, but there is a precedence. Remember how Windows 95 shipped with a bunch of shortcuts for other ISP's such as AOL?
    • That doesn't solve the problem. You'd always get somebody who said they'd been left out. Opera would complain that only IE and Mozilla were in there for example.

      You'd also get the Linux effect. Install most distributions these days and the menus are littered with duplicate programs. Two FTP programs, two browsers, three MP3 players. It's a nightmare for the consumer. They just want one, not a whole bunch. Most consumers (and I'm saying "most" here, not necessarily the people reading this) want the OS provi
  • DC Circuit Court (Score:3, Informative)

    by raistphrk ( 203742 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:04PM (#6306348)
    I'm not quite sure why anyone would want to sue Microsoft in a federal court under the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Microsoft WILL win the case, regardless of its merits. Microsoft has dominated that Circuit Court; the judges have such a bias in favor of Microsoft that you're practically shooting yourself in the foot by using said district. You sue, perhaps win, perhaps lose, the case goes to appeal, and you DO lose. And given the Supreme Court's unwillingness to review cases, that pretty much puts an end to your action.

    A better strategy is to sue in a court under the juristiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth has repeatedly shown technical know-how and a willingness to embrace and extend technology, though certainly not in the Microsoft sense. The bottom line is, don't sue if it's obvious you're going to lose from the start.
  • by wukie ( 684014 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:37PM (#6306600)
    How else will people actually see that Java works, and it works well if they are NOT stuck with Microsofts pathetic implementation. Certainly Java has flaws (which are usually bypassed) but some "write once, run on any platform" is better than none.

    Java is Sun's contribution to computing, and it is on par with Xerox's GUI and Mouse, Apples multimedia in a desktop and Microsoft's Office.

    Millions of developers want to take the next step with Java, but Microsoft is intentionally hold them back from over 90% of users and trying to push it's C# language to further isolate all competitors (Linux, BSD, Solaris, AIX, ONX, MacOS, etc.) from the market.

    The sooner this situation is rectified the better!
  • by DunbarTheInept ( 764 ) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @06:18PM (#6306878) Homepage
    I'd rather see this than having Microsoft be the dominant distributor of Java for Windows users. This way they can't pull the bullshit tactic of trying to break Java in subtle ways to make it work on their platform and fail on others, like they did to anyone developing in J++. If MS doesn't distribute Java, then people will tend to get the uncorrupted, uncrippled, unsabotaged version right from the original source. After all, look how popular RealAudio is for newscasts, and it doesn't come by default on machines - people just install the plugin when it comes up.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser