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News > Technology
Microsoft U-turns on Java
July 18, 2001: 2:20 p.m. ET

Says Windows XP won't support programs based on Sun software
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows XP operating system, scheduled for release in the fall, will not include support programs written in the Java programming language unless users configure it to so, the company confirmed Wednesday.

The decision not to include support for Java which was developed by Microsoft rival Sun Microsystems and is designed to enable programs to run on a range of computing platforms follows an out-of-court settlement those two companies reached in January.

Under the terms of that agreement, Microsoft will not include its version of Java called Java Virtual Machine, or JVM in Windows XP or in subsequent versions of its operating system software.

Sun had accused Microsoft's of distributing a version of Java that was not compatible with Sun's, and Microsoft has agreed to stop developing JVM.

The Microsoft spokesman stressed that, as with any program, users who choose to use JVM, whose uses include creating animated and interactive features of Web pages, will be able to download it or order it from the company.

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Personal computer manufacturers also will be free to include JVM on the versions of Windows XP they pre-install on new computers, and Microsoft will include it on a disk for corporate customers so they won't have to download it to each individual machine on which they install Windows.

The spokesman said Windows XP will fully support Java's JVM should users choose to install that instead of the Microsoft version.

Under the terms of the settlement with Sun, Microsoft also paid Sun a lump sum of $20 million for use of its Java technology in Microsoft products during the next seven years.

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Because Java is an operating-system independent programming language, Microsoft has long viewed it as a threat to its Windows franchise. Some version of the Windows operating system is installed on the vast majority of the word's desktop computers.

Java also has played a key role in the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust case against the company.

Late last month, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court's ruling that Microsoft be broken into two companies as a remedy for anti-competitive practices and remanded other parts of the judge's decision back to the lower court for consideration by a different judge.

Microsoft has been taking steps toward an out-of-court settlement, and already has resolved the matter with one of the 19 states that joined the U.S. Justice Department in the case.

Last week, the Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to expedite the delivery of the case back to a lower court for further review. The current schedule calls for the case to be remanded in mid-August.

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT: down $1.35 to $70.47, Research, Estimates), which is set to report its latest quarterly results on Thursday, were down more than 1.5 percent in afternoon Nasdaq trade Wednesday. Shares of Sun (SUNW: down $0.55 to $14.04, Research, Estimates), which also is set to report Thursday, were 1.3 percent lower. graphic

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.