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Microsoft says had Sun permission to modify Java

Opens case taking Sun claims head-on

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Sun's case against Microsoft opened yesterday with testimony from Microsoft applications and tools group VP Robert Muglia. Muglia claimed that in negotiations with Sun's Alan Baratz in 1996 Microsoft had repeatedly said that it intended to modify Java code. This meets Sun's case head-on. Sun is seeking a preliminary injunction stopping Microsoft shipping Java until it makes its version compliant with Sun'' requirements, and is arguing that by modifying Java to use Windows-specific features Microsoft is in breach of its licence agreement. Microsoft has however always argued that it had Sun's permission to do so. At the moment, however, Microsoft's case also hinges on cost. The company is arguing that pulling Java and altering it to Sun's specification would cause massive disruption, cost it a lot of money and damage the industry. As a preliminary injunction would only be granted if the case seemed conclusive to the judge, these arguments are influential at this stage. Alan Baratz and Java author James Gosling are due to testify today. ®

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