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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Microsoft ordered to distribute Sun's Java

By Jube Shiver Jr.
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Handing Sun Microsystems Inc. a big victory, a federal judge in Baltimore ruled yesterday that archrival Microsoft Corp. must distribute Sun's Java programming language with the ubiquitous Windows computer operating system.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz said his decision was needed to roll back "market conditions in which (Microsoft) is unfairly advantaged" over Sun, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of computer servers and workstations. His ruling could cost the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant tens of millions of dollars in repackaging and distribution costs.

The decision means that Motz believes that Sun is likely to prevail in its $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, which will go to trial sometime late next year.

"We are very gratified by the court's decision," said Sun Special Counsel Michael H. Morris.

A spokesman for Microsoft said the company would appeal the ruling. "We are disappointed but we are still reviewing the details of the court's opinion," said Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler.

Java is a general purpose computer programming language whose small size and flexibility has made it popular on the Internet, where it is used to power some pop-up Web ads as well as more sophisticated computational applications.