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Microsoft dropping Java code from Windows XP


By Kuriko Miyake and Stephen Lawson

(IDG) -- Microsoft Corp. disclosed Wednesday that it won't include the code needed to run Java applications in its Windows XP and future operating systems. The decision is part of a planned phase-out of the technology stemming from the settlement of a protracted legal dispute with Java owner Sun Microsystems Inc.

Windows XP will be shipped without Microsoft's Java virtual machine (JVM) code when it becomes available in October, said Balaprakash Kasiviswanathan, Microsoft's product marketing manager for the new operating system in the Asia-Pacific region. Corporate users will get the Java code on the disks that contain Windows XP but will have to install it themselves, he added. INFOCENTER
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Customers also will be able to download and install any other JVM, including Sun's version, Kasiviswanathan said. He acknowledged that the decision to leave the Java code out of Windows XP was made as a result of the January settlement deal that ended a four-year legal battle between Microsoft and Sun over the programming language.

Sun had accused Microsoft of violating the terms of its Java licensing agreement by modifying the technology so it would work best on Windows-based systems, prompting Microsoft to file a countersuit against Sun. Under the settlement announced separately by Microsoft and Sun, Microsoft stopped development of its JVM and agreed to phase out the software.

Removing the code from Windows XP is a first step toward discontinuing the JVM technology altogether, Kasiviswanathan said. "We will phase it out, but at this point, we want to make sure people can have it on demand," he said, while declining to detail further moves that are planned as part of the process.

Current versions of Windows will continue to be shipped with Microsoft's JVM code, according to Kasiviswanathan. In addition, he said, users who upgrade to Windows XP from an earlier release of the operating system will be able to keep the Microsoft code that they already have in place. Windows XP will also fully support Sun's JVM code, Kasiviswanathan added.

The settlement deal called for Microsoft to pay Sun $20 million and gave it the right to use Sun-developed Java code dating back to 1997 in its development tools for the next seven years. But just two days after the agreement was reached, Microsoft announced a set of migration technologies aimed at moving users of its Java-based Visual J++ tools to different languages.

• Java Technology -- Sun Microsystems
• Microsoft Windows XP

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