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Microsoft must include Java with XP and IE.
March 8, 2002 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft must include Java with XP and IE. Sun sues Microsoft for including Java, then sues Microsoft for not including Java. Fascinating.
posted by milnak (33 comments total)

 
I don't see how Sun can possibly justify this lawsuit. I loathe Microsoft for all the usual reasons, but I can't imagine how they could possibly be REQUIRED to include Java in their OS. Sure, if they cared about their customers they SHOULD include Java...but as usual they'd rather play their little dominance game.

urgh....whatever.
posted by xochi at 11:16 AM on March 8, 2002


milnak:

you aren't entirely correct. sun sued microsoft for including a version of java which was not per sun's standard, thus introducing the possibility of fracturing the java development community between those who used microsoft's version versus those who did not. in that light, the snarky quip at the end of your link text looks out of place to me.
posted by moz at 11:19 AM on March 8, 2002


Sun sued Microsoft the first time for breaking a licensing agreement wherein they made Java less useful by including a broken interpreter (that nasty Java Virtual Machine thingy, I think) with IE. The $20 million they paid back then (for the first mishandling) doesn't even approach the damage they did to Sun and Java by making Java itself look like a piece of crap to Windows users and hopefully increasing the demand for ActiveX/ASP.

While the whole Java-related chain of events beautifully displays MS's monopolistic behaviors, I'm not sure they can win this case.
posted by astrogirl at 11:24 AM on March 8, 2002


I loathe Microsoft.

But the one good thing you can say about a monopolized system is that every part works without you having to sit around and tweak everything, a problem I and most people have with Java.

Naturally, when a small business wants to start up a system, Microsoft is a perfect fit because of their suite of working products. (not to mention Java developer have this concept of themselves being worth more salarywise).

In that sense, Java IS crappy.

No small business can spend its money investing in an albeit free open source system that costs money in development time and developer wages when it can get a decent already working system that is easy to manage even if it isn't powerful (which just may change with the launch of .NET).
posted by linux at 11:43 AM on March 8, 2002


"linux", I'm curious. What exactly have you EVER had to "tweak" in order to get java working? From your handle it sounds like you're just describing a typical linux problem of having to configure and tweak everything to get it to work. That's not a problem with either Mac or Windows in regards to java.
posted by xochi at 12:17 PM on March 8, 2002


But the one good thing you can say about a monopolized system is that every part works without you having to sit around and tweak everything...

Okay, it may be true that Microsoft has "a suite of products," but their well-documented security holes and "release first, test later" mentality make the word "working" a dubious modifier.

Are Microsoft systems really easier to manage, or is the setup process simply dumbed down for the less knowledgeable? [I don't know; I'm not really on the server side of things.]

My experience with Windows desktops: I made the mistake of downloading an "updated" video driver for the Windows 2K machine I'm forced to use at work. Sure, it gave me the capacity for a higher screen resolution, but its memory leak cost me a day and a half of productivity. I ended up having to download an older (working!) version of the driver from the monitor manufacturer's web site to fix the problem.

From what I can tell, Microsoft is foisting utterly mediocre products on the public, who has no idea what they're missing out on because Microsoft uses illegal anti-competitive measures (any dishonest means they find necessary) to handicap other manufacturers.

Clearly, in this case, Microsoft is doing whatever they can to reduce Java's market share so they can peddle their own product.
posted by gohlkus at 12:20 PM on March 8, 2002


But the one good thing you can say about a monopolized system is that every part works without you having to sit around and tweak everything...

If only that were true. After having had to develop applications using Microsoft products, on Microsoft products, which then were served through Microsoft products, I can assure you that not "every part works without you having to sit around and tweak everything." In fact, it is in the tweaking with Microsoft products that you actually get things to work correctly, securely, and robustly. If you do not tweak Microsoft products (IIS is a prime example, up until a few months ago), you are seriously asking for trouble.

Sun was right in suing (and winning against) Microsoft for its non-standard implementation of a Windows-only Java VM. Then to go to the other extreme and say, "Well, gosh darn, we don't like playing with you guys anymore. We're not going to include any version of Java with Windows! Nah yah yahyah yahnah!" is the living proof that Microsoft believes it can do anything to anyone that doesn't agree with them, and believe they can get away with it. A child's mentality deserves the constant legal battles and losses Microsoft has gotten.
posted by yarf at 12:35 PM on March 8, 2002


"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." Therefore...
posted by Mack Twain at 12:57 PM on March 8, 2002


The summary does mislead what is really going on. It's not that Sun wants Java included in Windows, it's that Windows XP was expressly made with the inability to natively use Java at all.

"Microsoft then decided not to include tools for reading Java in Windows XP."
posted by rich at 1:28 PM on March 8, 2002


"Windows XP was expressly made with the inability to natively use Java at all"

This is simply untrue, as anyone using XP with the Sun JRE can tell you. Sun does want Java included in Windows. They think Java is entitled to special treatment, unlike, for instance, Flash.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:36 PM on March 8, 2002


That's not a problem with either Mac or Windows in regards to java.

No, on those platforms, Java just crashes your computer all the time.
posted by kindall at 2:01 PM on March 8, 2002


Windows XP does not prevent you from using Java, I've had J2v1.3, Visual Cafe, and Forte running fine on XP.

I don't see what Sun is complaining about? Anybody can run Java programs, it's not included with Windows though. So what....neither is a C compiler. Who is the more abrasive company here? Microsoft, or Sun home of the $10,000 entry-level server?

Java is not taking off like Sun had hoped, and that's more the fault of Sun pulling Java out of the ECMA than anything else. It's really sad, because Java is a good language.

Oh well, if you can't build market share, sue Microsoft I guess. Lawyers are cheaper than innovation.
posted by patrickje at 2:18 PM on March 8, 2002


Lawyers are cheaper than innovation.

Funny ... except for that novel "detect and crash" code for thwarting DrDos, I can't think of a damned thing M$ ever innovated. It's nice to see they have a cadre of parrots mindlessly chirping their buzzword for them. An innovative use of PR maybe.
posted by RavinDave at 2:55 PM on March 8, 2002


Cadre of parrots....reminds me of /.
posted by patrickje at 3:23 PM on March 8, 2002


How much is Sun worth? In all honesty, why doesn't MS just buy sun to get the monkey off thier back. Frankly I'm no fan of Sun. I got turned off with the OS 2.5. StarOffice is a pile of crap, and they aren't going to sell me on the arguement that Microsoft gave their prize product a peutrid perfume. Sun works in XP and users can download it from Sun. Seems to me that MS did little more than comply with the court order. on a side note, anyone know if Java works on Atari TOS? I'm feelin nostalgic...
posted by Zebulun at 4:08 PM on March 8, 2002


My experience with Windows desktops: I made the mistake of downloading an "updated" video driver for the Windows 2K machine I'm forced to use at work...its memory leak cost me a day and a half of productivity...From what I can tell, Microsoft is foisting utterly mediocre products on the public

Um, who wrote the video driver of which you speak? If I go and add a new Panasonic radio to my Toyota, and due to a fault in the radio, it shorts out the electrical system in my Toyota, does this mean that Toyotas suck?
posted by milnak at 4:21 PM on March 8, 2002


I just downloaded the JVM from MS for IE 6 for a Windows XP box yesterday. Very straightforward. Why should Sun get special treatment over a Flash or Quicktime download?

“What is at stake here is the future of an open software industry and an open Internet,” Morris said.

Give me a break, like Sun is championing open standards. It is about the $ for both $un and Micro$oft, no apologies for that. And owning valuable IP means profits.
posted by scottfree at 4:33 PM on March 8, 2002


I can't see anything too wrong with this case. MS is a convicted monopolist yes? Part of their convicted monopoly was with regard to their treatment of Java yes? So Sun just want their damages. Seems fair enough to me.

Sun servers start at $1,149.

btw Zebulun yes. StarOffice 5.2 is exceedingly dodgy. Version 6 is much better. (no integrated desktop for a start) It should be out in a couple of months or so and I'd encourage you to give it a peek. And yes they do champion open standards in OpenOffice (LGPL XML Based file formats with public api etc.).

[mild disclosure I'm part of the OpenOffice.org marketing project. This doesn't mean that I like Sun, in many ways I really dislike them but I don't mind their office suite]

And whilst I don't think you can Run Java on your Atari you can certainly run your Atari in Java.
posted by nedrichards at 5:15 PM on March 8, 2002


Um, I'm no Microsoft lacky, but who cares about java? If I really want it, I'll spent the few moments downloading the product. I don't hear Macromedia or Real complaining, not even those Vivo folks.

milnak, you took the words right out of my mouth. Why does everyone assume it's Windows fault? I understand it has some problems, but please, when peole say it's XP's fault they can't dial into AOL; print from proprietary software; install Macintosh software and many other things... come on.

Side note: I used to do tech support for a computer company, and the above things are based off of experience.

agreements with software vendors to use only the Microsoft-compatible Java version were against the law.

Ok, so this kind of implies that it would be ok if Pepsi sued Coca-Cola and the International Olympic Committee because they(Coca-Cola) paid a whole ton of cash and donated hundreds of soda machines so they(Coca-Cola) would be the only beverage company allowed in Olympic venues and covering areas. Not just Coca-Cola did this, but McDonalds, Visa, Chevrolet and a few others that escape me at the moment. I thought cornering the market, becoming the biggest and making the most money was the whole point of Capitalism... why should the losers cry about losing(and even get compensated for it)?

If they truly had an extremely great product or a necessary product, then they wouldn't post losses for the past 3 quarters.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 7:31 PM on March 8, 2002


What exactly was wrong with Microsoft's JVM implementation that they shipped with IE? Honestly, I don't know.

BTW, as Sun is proving here (in a rather whiny way that yields no sympathy from me), it's just about as anal as Microsoft in edging others out of the market by using product placement. In fact, I think Sun would be a much worse player than Microsoft were it put in a position like Microsoft's with their current management.
posted by azazello at 7:54 PM on March 8, 2002


Um, who wrote the video driver of which you speak?

milnak, that's an excellent question and I'll look into it next week. However, it was pushed on me by "Windows Update," which I promptly disabled. Furthermore --

If I go and add a new Panasonic radio to my Toyota, and due to a fault in the radio, it shorts out the electrical system in my Toyota, does this mean that Toyotas suck?

No, of course not. But, to continue your analogy, what if Toyota gave you a free Panasonic radio and said, "This Panasonic radio is much better than the Panasonic radio you currently have in your Toyota, and you really should install it! We know, we built your Toyota!" Then you installed it, and it prevented you from driving in any gear other than first (somehow) until you put the old radio back in? You can't tell me that Toyota isn't somehow culpable for your inconvenience, since you were perfectly satisfied with your previous Panasonic radio and would never have replaced it had they refrained from urging you to do so.

It's a pattern with Microsoft, in everything they do.
posted by gohlkus at 9:54 PM on March 8, 2002


It's a pattern with Microsoft, in everything they do.

um. whatever.

(resists the urge to bite troll)
posted by azazello at 10:47 PM on March 8, 2002


Um, who wrote the video driver of which you speak?

milnak, that's an excellent question and I'll look into it next week. However, it was pushed on me by "Windows Update," which I promptly disabled. Furthermore --

If I go and add a new Panasonic radio to my Toyota, and due to a fault in the radio, it shorts out the electrical system in my Toyota, does this mean that Toyotas suck?

No, of course not. But, to continue your analogy, what if Toyota gave you a free Panasonic radio and said, "This Panasonic radio is much better than the Panasonic radio you currently have in your Toyota, and you really should install it! We know, we built your Toyota!" Then you installed it, and it prevented you from driving in any gear other than first (somehow) until you put the old radio back in? You can't tell me that Toyota isn't somehow culpable for your inconvenience, since you were perfectly satisfied with your previous Panasonic radio and would never have replaced it had they refrained from urging you to do so.

It's a pattern with Microsoft, in everything they do.
posted by gohlkus at 11:02 PM on March 8, 2002


oops, crap. sorry about the double post. left the machine for a while.

gee, first time I've been accused of trolling. my apologies. how about responding to the rest of my post instead of attempting to reduce it to one throwaway sentence?
posted by gohlkus at 11:06 PM on March 8, 2002


Color me stupid, but I don't remember a single time that Windows Update comes up on it's own to suggest newer drivers for non-Microsoft hardware. I've seen and know it will do that for MS apps and such, but I've never seen it do it for non-MS items, especially hardware. I am not calling you a liar or anything gohlkus, I'm just don't recall ever seeing or hearing about a specific event like that.

Ok, I just checked Windows Update and I stand corrected, there is a selection for 3rd party drivers. Hey, I may be a jackass, but at least I know when I'm wrong and admit it, hehehe.

I do have one question though, if you were perfectly happy with the old drivers, why'd you click on the button saying it was ok to install the newer one? Windows Update doesn't know if the drivers are good, they just know the reference date is newer than the drivers you're using. That's why I recommend only using certified drivers from the hardware manufacturer(ie: www.nvidia.com for all your GeForce needs). Didn't mean to get all preachy there, just trying to spread the good word.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 1:18 AM on March 9, 2002


I dont understand why Sun has to sue MS. If MS doesnt want to include any version of Java in its OS, then let the MS customers decide to move to a different OS that does support Java.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:43 AM on March 9, 2002


If only the open source folks stop whining and concentrate on developing product suites that an average non-geek end user can easily use and enjoy.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:47 AM on March 9, 2002


This is weird. Everything that I read (which wasn't much, I admit) about the last court agreement with Sun vs MS indicated that Sun had specifically requested that MS not ship Java by 2004.

That MS had decided, because of the onus of planning for forward compatibility, to start doing that now with Windows XP and IE 6.

I think we need a really good, well-written, article about this, taking into account past history. I don't think this article tells the whole story.
posted by lucien at 2:00 AM on March 9, 2002


I'd just like to point out that at the time, Microsoft's java implementation was much better, and more compatable then the one being used in netscape.

It wasn't a bug in the JVM, but rather added classes in the java API. It wasn't that programs written for the sun implementation wouldn't run in the M$ one, but rather the other way around.
posted by delmoi at 6:56 AM on March 9, 2002


"I'd just like to point out that at the time, Microsoft's java
implementation was much better, and more compatable then the one being used in netscape."

uh-huh? What about RMI? Perhaps a crucial Java component, of course also a direct competitor to ActiveX?

"more compatible"?

What about the MS Java push to use their native-API/code/platform linking technology, rather than the Java standard version?
posted by jkaczor at 3:49 PM on March 9, 2002


gohlkus:

first time I've been accused of trolling.
We've all been there :)

Really, the statement that ticked me off is the last one, about a pattern.

Microsoft may be aggressive and pathetic in its product marketing and anti-competitive practices, but they really do make some nice products. Products that are unrivaled.

OK, maybe some of them are unrivaled in part because of anticompetitive practices, but that doesn't lessen the achievement of Microsoft engineers. I know a little about device drivers, NT, and how the stability of the system can be screwed up by unusual hardware combinations. This stuff is complex, and it is impossible to test all combinations for every driver before releasing. So that's why your sweeping conclusion is inappropriate.
posted by azazello at 1:15 PM on March 10, 2002


Products that are unrivaled.

...because any rivals are kneecapped and left bleeding in the street.
posted by rodii at 1:35 PM on March 10, 2002


I think Sun's objections have to do with this:

...much of Sun’s Web services for corporate users are based on Java and Microsoft offers a competing services platform known as .NET. (from the article)

If your business is selling servers and Microsoft stops including client software for your server in favor of its own server/client system, you are in trouble. MS was found to have a monopoly in desktop OS; if Sun can convince the judge that they are using that monopoly to leverage their server at the cost of Sun's, then this case has a pretty good chance.
posted by joaquim at 8:39 AM on March 11, 2002


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