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Java poised for return to Windows, appeals permitting

Preliminary injunctions - the long comply...

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Scarily, Sun and Microsoft have agreed on something to do with Java. But they're keeping quiet about the details pending the judge's decision. The bottom line, however, is that Microsoft, in accordance with Baltimore District Judge J Frederick Motz's order, will be shipping Java with Windows within 120 days.

Motz made this order in December on the basis that Sun had a good chance of winning its action, the antitrust suit that time forgot, against Microsoft. Hence, he granted Sun a preliminary injunction. Subsequent wrangling between the companies has gone something like (to precis massively): Microsoft saying it will need lots and lots of testing that's bound to take years and years, so although it'd really, really like to comply it's just going to be incredibly difficult and; Sun saying fer crissake, you've been shipping it, not shipping it then shipping it again for years, here's one we prepared earlier so just do it, OK?

The agreement between the two companies is therefore some sort of compromise that at least Sun can live with, and their joint proposals were presented to Motz yesterday. It does not however mean that Microsoft will definitely recommence distribution of Java, because the company still intends to appeal Motz's injunction. And Motz has stayed the injunction for two weeks, pending the appeal.

However, when he issues his response to their proposals, we should have a fair idea how Microsoft proposes to ship Java with Windows again, should it be forced to. ®

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