Feeds

MS to pull Java in 2004 – why you knew this already

Pay attention at the back...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft, you may have heard from many sources in the past couple of days, is to stop shipping Java in 2004. Shocking, eh? But you've known that for well over a year, really.

We at The Register are now sufficiently browned-off with termination of Java stories that we feel moved to make a public service announcement, explaining why it really oughtn't to be news to anybody. According to the terms of the Sun-Microsoft Java settlement of 23rd January 2001, which you will find here, Sun grants to Microsoft "A limited license under Sun’s Intellectual Property Rights, during the period ending January 2, 2008, to continue to distribute without modification in currently shipping commercial products, all as listed on Exhibit D attached, the JDK 1.1.4-level binary implementations identified in Exhibit E attached..." etc etc. A bunch of stuff anyway, the gist of which is that features and functionality are frozen at the level of the Win2k first commercial release, and the 2008 date explains why this was described as a "seven year" deal.

However, Sun also grants "a limited license under Sun’s Intellectual Property Rights, during the period ending January 2, 2004, to use Sun’s JDK 1.1.4- level source code, for Microsoft’s internal use only, for the sole purpose of making such limited modifications to the JDK 1.1.4-level binary implementations licensed herein under paragraphs 6(a), 6(b) or 6(c) as are necessary to correct only Critical Customer Defects or Security Holes." Which is what Microsoft said to justify termination in 2004 just the other day. Insofar as source access is necessary to plug security holes, Microsoft will not be licensed to plug them after 2004.

It could still ship the stuff though, couldn't it? Well, we also have "a limited license under Sun’s Intellectual Property Rights, during the period ending January 2, 2004, to incorporate the JDK 1.1.4-level binary implementations licensed under paragraphs 6(a) or 6(b) above in successor versions of the products identified in Exhibit D." Exhibit D's product list is still sadly awaiting update, you'll note if you're reading the document (pull your socks up, MS legal), but you get the gist. Microsoft can't incorporate it in "successor versions" from 2004, and anyway that might be tricky with source access.

The document is shot through with licence terminations on 2nd January 2004, to the extent that we feel sure Microsoft would need a large and extremely perverse team of lawyers to argue the case if it wanted to persist beyond that date. And why bother?

The intent of the less popular 2008 date, it would seem to us, is to preserve some legacy access for older systems. Otherwise, the agreement pretty clearly removes Microsoft's ability to ship it with new products in 2004. OK? Oh, and by the way, if MS legal for some reason didn't get that product list to Sun by early March of last year, it doesn't have any licences anyway. I'd check that if I were you, Scott... ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.