REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 17, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. announced Tuesday that it will comply with the preliminary ruling issued by Federal District Court Judge Ronald H. Whyte in its contractual dispute with Sun Microsystems Inc.
The ruling requires Microsoft to support Sun's Java Native Interface (JNI) in the Microsoft Java virtual machine and requires Microsoft to turn off by default certain Microsoft-specific keywords in its development tools. Customers using Microsoft products today with Java programming language support are not affected by the ruling, nor are developers prevented from taking advantage of great Windows features in Java programs.
The Judge's order allows 90 days for compliance with the injunction, which gives Microsoft time to ensure there is no interruption in the shipment of any products to customers.
"While we are obviously disappointed with this preliminary ruling, we are gratified that the court's order should not impact customers using Microsoft products today, nor will any products be recalled," said Paul Maritz, group vice president of platforms and applications at Microsoft. "Further, the Judge has upheld Microsoft's right to innovate and offer developers the choice of building great Windows applications using the Java language even when complying with the Court's order."
" We respect the Court's ruling and are reviewing our legal options," said Tom Burt, associate general counsel. "This is a preliminary ruling on a very technical contract interpretation issue involved in this lawsuit. Microsoft has brought new and innovative Java technology to our customers. The Court has confirmed Microsoft's right to modify and improve the Java technologies it licensed from Sun, but has preliminarily determined that Microsoft may have overstepped the limitations of our license from Sun in a couple of respects in giving programming choices to Java developers."
Microsoft is focused on ensuring that its customers are minimally impacted by the Court's order. This is a preliminary ruling and only one step in this broader lawsuit. Microsoft remains confident that once all the facts are presented to the Court, Microsoft will be seen to be in compliance with its contract.
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