Sun suing MS - commentary

By lokem · 7 replies
Mar 9, 2002
  1. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    Please read the 3Ds homepage & visit our sponsors Feel free to quote the articles, guides, reviews & links.
  2. lokem

    lokem TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 672

    Thanks for the heads up! I actually read the front page... After I posted the link {g}
  3. CptSiskoX

    CptSiskoX TS Rookie Posts: 32

    I've criticized Microsoft for security problems and sometimes what I've considered dirty tricks or underhanded behavior, etc. but I've always been fair. Sun sued Microsoft for including Java in Windows/IE in the past, using the Java compatible logo and various other reasons - many of which didn't hold an ounce of water. Microsoft agreed to pay Sun $20 million, would only retain the license of an OLD version of the Java VM for 7 years, and could not include it in many new products, etc. Sun sued them for distributing via the Internet and with Windows/IE copies of the MS-Java VM based on an old Sun version from when MS first licensed it. So now, Sun gets what it wants with the settlement with MS, including $20 million dollars for a -free- VM product. So to comply with the settlement, MS drops Java from WinXP (but offers it free on Windows Update). Also, Sun is bragging that it offers its own Java VM free online now for Windows users. Anyone can download/install it if desired. So now Sun is suing MS for $1 billion because MS isn't including the Java VM with Windows XP. It seems to me that Sun complained MS was including it, then sued to get them to stop. MS finally agreed. Now Sun's profits are down and not many people have downloaded the Sun Java VM (because they don't want it apparently) - so now Sun wants to make free money off of MS's hard work again. If Sun was so great why aren't people downloading their VM (it's FREE after all!)? This lawsuit is just ridiculous on Sun's part. I have to support MS against Sun in this case.,aid,87944,00.asp

    Laughable... that Sun thinks it can get away with this nonsense. Almost
    everybody involved with the computer industry knows that Sun sued MS to stop
    MS from spreading its Java VM (mostly based on Sun's old version of Java
    which is what MS licensed). They reached the agreement of MS to have the
    right to distribute builds based on that version for about 7 years, and
    after that MS wouldn't anymore. Microsoft even had to pay $20 million to
    Sun. That's a lot of money for a FREE Java VM, don't you think? Sounds to
    me like Sun was using anticompetitive means to force Microsoft to pay undue
    huge amounts of money. Hey - I don't have $20 million laying around, do
    you? Especially not to pay for a FREE product. Microsoft meanwhile is
    banned from using the official Java Compatible logo from Sun, and can only
    ship VMs based on an old version of Java. Microsoft also had to modify it's
    Java VM releases to be compatible with Sun's standards. Sun's PR page says
    "Beyond that, Microsoft has no rights to distribute the Java technology, or
    to otherwise use any of Suns intellectual property." This would include
    including it with Windows XP, in my interpretation. So if MS were to
    distribute it with WinXP perhaps Sun would sue them for that for violating
    the settlement. Either way, Sun has a reason to sue MS, and MS gets
    screwed. So Sun breaks its own agreement (that they pushed/sued for) and
    now MS is being sued. Ridiculous. Sun should be sued for a lot of things.
    Breach of contract, frivilous lawsuits, and much more - including
    anticompetitive behavior. I have sometimes criticized Microsoft for their
    actions, but in this case I feel Sun is clearly in the wrong and at fault.

    Sun and Microsoft's Java Contract: (clearly shows, IMO,
    that Sun is in the wrong). <<5.6 subsection b. Non-Assertion by SUN.
    SUN agrees that it shall not commence any action against Licensee or its
    licensees for infringement of the patent claims included in SUN's Patent
    Rights which would be infringed by the making, use, sale, offer for sale, or
    importation, during the Term, of the Java Reference Implementation, unless
    Licensee's licensee makes a claim or commences any action against SUN or SUN
    's licensee for infringement of the Intellectual Property Rights of Licensee
    's licensee, where the infringement claim is based upon SUN's or SUN's
    licensee's use of the Java Reference Implementation or a Derivative Work or
    Independent Work thereof. >>


    Section 10 a and b:
    <<10.1 Limitation of Liability. Except for express undertakings to
    indemnify under this Agreement:

    a. Each party's liability to the other for claims relating to this
    Agreement, whether for breach or in tort, shall be limited to the license
    fees paid by Licensee for the Technology; and

    OF THEIR ESSENTIAL PURPOSE. The provisions of this Section 10.0 allocate the
    risks under this Agreement between SUN and Licensee and the parties have
    relied upon the limitations set forth herein in determining whether to enter
    into this Agreement.>>>

    I believe I speak for many of us when I say - Sun you can kiss ours!
  4. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    Microsoft: Java is Sun's real problem
    By Reuters
  5. lokem

    lokem TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 672

    Due to this action from MS, we're now able to d/l the updated JREs from Sun directly and not be contented with the really old (1.1 I suppose) JREs that come with MS.

    Anyway, here's an interesting article albeit a tad off topic, but still worth the read:
  6. Mac_Bug

    Mac_Bug TS Rookie Posts: 57

    addressing CptSiskoX

    Microsoft violated the terms of their license by writing proprietary class extensions, and created in effect codes once compiled will only run on Windows platform, as because they do not make JVM for other platforms. This essentially broke the 'write once, run anywhere' rule of Java. Furthermore, these MS implimentations of Java does not pass some critical tests in determining whether one's version is up to the Java standard, thus MS had no right to display Sun's Java logo or claim compatibility. ...

    ... Of which, they have settled.

    Microsoft violated the licensing terms.

    The issue itself has never been about whether or not the VM itself is free. Though I will argue as we continue MS in reality did little or no damage to Sun, even if their actions were illegal.

    Under the new agreement, MS is not prohibited from shipping their version of the JVM. Rather they are only limited to the old version for 7 more years - for whatever McNealy was thinking at the time of settlement. Microsoft is not forced to drop Java from WinXP, nor are they required to ship it in XP. Recall that days after the settlement and the annoucement that Java would not be shipped with XP, Sun began a 3 day ad campaign to make MS put their version of JVM back into XP. MS laughs all the way to the bank.

    The issue has never been about whether or not the Java VM is 'free'. In fact it has little to do with software itself.

    Microsoft's long standing argument has always been that their bundling/integrating of software solutions with the OS benefit the consumers and does not harm the competition, simply because users are freely to download anything they want off the net and install it on MS OS.

    This simply doesn't fly because in the real world, the consumers are viewed about as competent with computers as they are repairing their car - not much at all, and don't care.

    The long battle of who gets to place what icons on the desktop shows precisely what kind of people the businesses are going after - remember all the AOL icons on desktop? The argument is basic first come first serve. Whoever get's to expose their products to the consumer wins the game, not whoever have the better product. In that sense, I don't believe applying specificly to the Netscape case, by bundling IE MS did anything wrong at all, at least, nothing more than Netscape was doing - taking advantage of ignorant consumers.

    But then, if consumers really wanted to be smart, there won't be so many in the service industry.

    Sun complained specificly because MS violated the terms of the license and broke the KEY to Java. VB as a rapid development tool is guaranteed (sort of) to work in all W32 environments - it is one of it's key strengths. Imagine it being deliberately broken.

    You are getting close to the point there. The issue has always been that MS won over Joe 6Pack by excercising their OS market to leverage their own products over that of the others. Ironicly it could be argued that this does not apply to businesses. Netscape was free for non-commercial and educational uses, and neither does JVM cost you a thing. The issue though comes through in the second half of the anti-trust case, concerning the 'illegal' business practices MS had, spreading rumors about other competitors in the business world, pressuring businesses to adopt their software, and using their intricate knowledge of windows to their own advantage (who can blame them on that though).

    What does Sun make money off?

    Their business is largely in the corporate sector, the average joe in fact won't have a need for SUN's JVM even if shipped with Windows XP, simply because there are no Java programs taking advantage of it, latest version or no.

    It has been argued however as a counter point, since MS providing these applications like IE as underlying common API in every copy of Windows, and programmer benefit from knowing it is there and utilizing it and save time, by not offering the latest Java VM with Windows, Microsoft discourages Java programmers and potential Java programmers from ever using Java.'

    Sun of course makes money off Java server software etc, but same as in the Netscape argument (Netscape made all their money on the business side), but polluting Java for obvious malicious means (these programmers took licensing 101 right, at least the managers?!), they discouraged Java development, therefore costing Sun 'millions', or er, 'billions', in damages.

    Again, the issue has never been whether or not the VM is 'free'. To finish off the bits and pieces of reference to Netscape here, Netscape was free for the average user too, so on one level one could argue MS did them absolutely no harm and did not cut off their revenue stream when they won the mass home users market. On the other hand, businesses choses software based upon cost and preferences - if all these business users are accustomed to using IE, you betcha IE will already have a leg over Netscape in any sort of corporate study regarding what version of browser to use for intranet support.

    I agree also that the damage is largely superficial, namely because the SUN JVM is 8 MB and for years it has been argued that nobody bothers downloading but instead prefer whatever came to them 'free' on a CD. VB runtimes along with DirectX has been updated many, MANY times, but the software requirements of it was such that users HAD to download it. I content that Sun never got their heads together to create client side applications that are actually useful in the first place. Thus there is no demand for JVM.

    Simply because in those earlier implimentations their software was NOT compatible.

    Well, first, Java is really not a 'standard' in the computer industry standard kind of sense. However it is Sun's toy, they get to set the rules, all players understood that when they entered their arena. I am pretty sure Sun would gladly modify clauses to allow MS to distribute latest version of Sun VM if approached, and instead of going to Windows update to download an old version of JVM, ms could link them to Sun's site without violating any rules.

    It has already been established that MS engaged in anti-competitive behaviors regarding the case of Netscape and Java. Based on this Sun has a right to claim damages, just to be fair. Their case is too broad, and as many experts have said, could drag on for years if they do not focus and narrow it down.
  7. Mac_Bug

    Mac_Bug TS Rookie Posts: 57

    exceeded posting limit

    IMO you are not exactly informed on the history nor the implications. not to say I understand it any better or any of the things I said here are guaranteed to be correct.

    Sun has been making the news a lot lately, they've timed this lawsuit nicely with the advent of MS's own .Net platform and their .Net strategy - aimed directly at Java in the enterprise world. It's business as usual.

    It is also funny to see that both sides depends upon the public opinon and seek to manipulate it, when in fact the real heavy battles are over in the business side.

    But then just as one argues the average consumer 'don't know jack' when it comes to computers, I expect these businesses to make the best decision based on what they think is important, but some of them obviously have wacked out priorities, and Microsoft just happened to ride this wave (with a little push on their own).

    There is no question what some of the MS actions deserve, the focus of MS's defense is not to try to dispute the fact that they didn't do these things - they are trying to argue what they did caused minimum effect. It is critical to keep in mind what is at stakes here - money. The less damage to be determined by the court, the less money MS has to pay. Meanwhile they can drag this on for another couple of years, and Sun's ultimate demand of them shipping Sun's Java VM would be accepted... after much debate. It will not make Java magically popular overnight, as once again I am agreeing that Sun dug their own grave on this one, but as part of the proposed remedy for the anti-trust case, this could very well be forced upon Microsoft to prevent the repeat of Netscape, if for nothing else but simply because the next version of Windows will include .Net runtime, a direct competitor to Sun's JVM.

    Hope all that rant makes sense. if you follow the latest articles on Zdnet, read the comments, and take a guess which one's mine.
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