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Sun Files Suit Against Microsoft for Antitrust Violations Suit Seeks Remedies for Harm to Java? Platform
Sun Files Suit Against Microsoft for Antitrust Violations Suit Seeks Remedies for Harm to Java? Platform

(March 11, 2002) -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. has filed a private antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation. The suit, filed in the United States District Court in San Jose, seeks remedies for the harm inflicted by Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior with respect to the Java platform and for damages resulting from Microsoft's illegal efforts to maintain and expand its monopoly power. In June 2001, the Federal Court of Appeals found Microsoft guilty of illegally abusing its monopoly power with respect to Sun and the Java platform. Sun's suit seeks redress for the competitive and economic harm caused by Microsoft's illegal acts.

"After careful consideration, Sun filed this suit in order to uphold its fiduciary responsibilities to its shareholders and employees," said Michael Morris, senior vice president and general counsel, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "This private antitrust lawsuit is intended to restore competition in the marketplace by removing unlawful barriers to the distribution of the Java platform and to interoperability between Microsoft software and competitive technologies. The achievement of these goals will allow for greater innovation and increased customer choice."

In its complaint, Sun alleges that Microsoft has engaged in extensive anticompetitive conduct, including:

  • Fragmenting the Java platform
  • Flooding the market with incompatible Java Runtime Environments
  • Forcing other companies to distribute or use products that are incompatible with Java
  • Significantly limiting Sun's distribution channels for the Java Runtime Environment
  • Intentionally interfering with the development of Java-based applications for compatible runtimes
  • Copyright infringement resulting from Microsoft's distribution of an unlicensed implementation of the Java Runtime Environment
  • Intentional creation of incompatibilities between Microsoft software and competing technologies, thereby raising switching costs for consumers and reducing consumer choice
Sun's filing points out that, in recent antitrust proceedings brought by the United States, 19 individual states, and the District of Columbia, "Microsoft was held to have illegally maintained its monopoly over the market for Intel-compatible personal computer ("PC") operating systems by engaging in anticompetitive acts that impeded the distribution and/or use of alternative platforms that threatened Microsoft's monopoly, including Sun's Java platform."

"While this suit is based on the past actions of Microsoft, Sun also believes that Microsoft's continuing practices in the marketplace represent a threat to lawful competition and the millions of developers who depend on the existence of an open software industry. This behavior manifests Microsoft's goal to use its monopoly position to turn the Internet into its proprietary platform. What is at stake here is the future of an open software industry and an open Internet," continued Morris.

In its suit, Sun is seeking preliminary injunctions requiring Microsoft to distribute Sun's current binary implementation of the Java plug-in as part of Windows XP and Internet Explorer, and stop distribution of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine through separate downloads.

Sun also is seeking a permanent injunction requiring Microsoft to disclose and license proprietary interfaces, protocols, and formats and to unbundle tied products, such as Internet Explorer, IIS web server, and the .NET framework. In addition to this, Sun's suit seeks treble damages as provided by law.

For more information about this suit, visit www.sun.com/lawsuit.

About Java News Desk
JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

I'm finding it curious in this situation, that the only people who are lamenting Sun's antitrust lawsuit against MS are developers using MS products. Wake up! Switching to .NET is not going to save anyone from the anticompetitive behavior of Microsoft - and you could be next!

As a developer, I wanted to create some
programs for end-users, but due to
MS's shut out of Java, I can't rely on
it being on users machines. There's
no point in creating consumer Java apps
yet. MS insists on raising development
costs through its anti-competitive
actions. And yes, plus time lost due
to MS-induced hassles...

-r

One billion dollars only represents treble Sun's damages. I personally lost 10 days of productivity a few years back when I upgraded my Visual J++ and unknowingly poisoned my byte codes. (That was the last time I ever touched an MS dev product!)

I thought it was my fault and did not suspect MS until I pruned 2,000 lines of code down to 10 that ended up being NON-CROSS PLATFORM when they should have run everywhere.

Where is my $2,000 in damages + my money back for Visual Studio? That was the first incident but certainly was not the last.

If one were to add in cost of lost productivity into the Sun damages figure of then hundreds of thousands of Java developers and now millions of developers that have had to work around MS, multiply by three, one would arrive at a figure of between 3 and 10 billion dollars. That figure pales in comparison to the actual market dollars that altered course as a result of MS's handy work.

A billion dollars is chump change for what they have done but I will settle for hearing them squeal like a stuck pig for a billion cash straight to Sun.

As a developer, I'm frustrated by Microsoft's actions. What I think is sad is that if Microsoft really wanted to, they could create an awesome J2EE server. Maybe even the best implementation for Windows. Then they could let their customers choose between .NET and the J2EE. It's all about choice. What are you scared of MS? Just let your customers choice what they want. As an OS company, you (MS) should not care about including or not including Java. All the major OS's I know of include Java. But, wait, what are you, an OS company or an application company. There's the confict. Enough said.

A few niche areas? The web services market is *big*. How much is Java used in this market? Apparently around 80% of all web solutions. I don't see any niche area here. Admitedly .net may change this a little, but it must be big if MS decided to have this big push towards web services.

Java is also becoming very big in the embedded world.

As for normal usage, *as far as I have seen* NEW software projects increasingly use Java with the system requirements just specifying the Sun plugin.

Look at how many Java projects there are on Sourceforge!

:o)

What a pity. It seems that Sun's ability to innovate has been replaced by their ability to litigate. Sad state of affairs for a company that was at one time technology leader.

If Microsoft prevails, we lose and will have to use Windows.
If SUN prevails, we will have choice.
I'm for choice.
Let the free market prevail and pick the best in show.
With Microsoft, there is no free market.
We get what they want to give us.
That is probably more transport mechanisms for viruses with additional features that happen to do email and Internet browsing as a side-line.

What a pity !
Yes Java is not the only way to WEB. BUT everybody has access to the source code of Java including Swing and even list of bugs since the beginning.
Where is the source code of Windows ?

Java is not proprietary : leading implementations of J2EE are from editors : BEA, IBM and from open source : Tomcat-Jboss

It is time that SUN was brought down to earth. Java is not "the" only way to the WEB. Java is also a SUN proprietary product with no source code access to it's SWING or JFC. There is also no ANSI standards committee working on Java, nor has SUN submitted any proposed standards on JAVA.
It is about time Microsoft sued SUN's pants off and the rest of IT find something better than JAVA. It is totally overrated (but does have a few niche areas).


Your Feedback
Shane Eaton wrote: I'm finding it curious in this situation, that the only people who are lamenting Sun's antitrust lawsuit against MS are developers using MS products. Wake up! Switching to .NET is not going to save anyone from the anticompetitive behavior of Microsoft - and you could be next!
Randy Strauss wrote: As a developer, I wanted to create some programs for end-users, but due to MS's shut out of Java, I can't rely on it being on users machines. There's no point in creating consumer Java apps yet. MS insists on raising development costs through its anti-competitive actions. And yes, plus time lost due to MS-induced hassles... -r
Loren Kratzke wrote: One billion dollars only represents treble Sun's damages. I personally lost 10 days of productivity a few years back when I upgraded my Visual J++ and unknowingly poisoned my byte codes. (That was the last time I ever touched an MS dev product!) I thought it was my fault and did not suspect MS until I pruned 2,000 lines of code down to 10 that ended up being NON-CROSS PLATFORM when they should have run everywhere. Where is my $2,000 in damages + my money back for Visual Studio? That was the first incident but certainly was not the last. If one were to add in cost of lost productivity into the Sun damages figure of then hundreds of thousands of Java developers and now millions of developers that have had to work around MS, multiply by three, one would arrive at a figure of between 3 and 10 billion dollars. That figure pales in comparison to the actual market dollars that altered...
Jim Kennedy wrote: As a developer, I'm frustrated by Microsoft's actions. What I think is sad is that if Microsoft really wanted to, they could create an awesome J2EE server. Maybe even the best implementation for Windows. Then they could let their customers choose between .NET and the J2EE. It's all about choice. What are you scared of MS? Just let your customers choice what they want. As an OS company, you (MS) should not care about including or not including Java. All the major OS's I know of include Java. But, wait, what are you, an OS company or an application company. There's the confict. Enough said.
Kieron Wilkinson wrote: A few niche areas? The web services market is *big*. How much is Java used in this market? Apparently around 80% of all web solutions. I don't see any niche area here. Admitedly .net may change this a little, but it must be big if MS decided to have this big push towards web services. Java is also becoming very big in the embedded world. As for normal usage, *as far as I have seen* NEW software projects increasingly use Java with the system requirements just specifying the Sun plugin. Look at how many Java projects there are on Sourceforge! :o)
John Kudrle wrote: What a pity. It seems that Sun's ability to innovate has been replaced by their ability to litigate. Sad state of affairs for a company that was at one time technology leader.
Bruce Hogman wrote: If Microsoft prevails, we lose and will have to use Windows. If SUN prevails, we will have choice. I'm for choice. Let the free market prevail and pick the best in show. With Microsoft, there is no free market. We get what they want to give us. That is probably more transport mechanisms for viruses with additional features that happen to do email and Internet browsing as a side-line.
Emeric Vernat wrote: What a pity ! Yes Java is not the only way to WEB. BUT everybody has access to the source code of Java including Swing and even list of bugs since the beginning. Where is the source code of Windows ? Java is not proprietary : leading implementations of J2EE are from editors : BEA, IBM and from open source : Tomcat-Jboss
Chris Pollach wrote: It is time that SUN was brought down to earth. Java is not "the" only way to the WEB. Java is also a SUN proprietary product with no source code access to it's SWING or JFC. There is also no ANSI standards committee working on Java, nor has SUN submitted any proposed standards on JAVA. It is about time Microsoft sued SUN's pants off and the rest of IT find something better than JAVA. It is totally overrated (but does have a few niche areas).
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