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MICROSOFT: "SUN WANTS TO RULE WORLD WITH JAVA".

Sun Microsystems Inc had detailed, secret plans in place to leverage its Java technology for a full-scale attack on Microsoft Corp, Intel Corp and others, Microsoft lawyers sought to show in court yesterday. Using emails and documents from internal presentations authored by Sun executives such as Bill Joy, Eric Schmidt (now CEO of Novell Inc) and Government witness James Gosling, currently on the stand at the Washington antitrust trial, Microsoft tried to show that Sun was aiming to render the Windows operating system obsolete. The plan, in 1995 at least, was to bypass the operating system altogether using Java technologies. Used in evidence was an email from Sun CEO Scott McNealy, first quoted in the February 1996 issue of our sister publication Computer Business Review. "Charge! Kill HP, IBM, MSOFT and Apple all at once," McNealy is said to have written, having seen his first demonstration of Gosling's Java technology. Then, during 1995, Sun held a series of meetings to discuss such an overthrow. Schmidt, in a 1995 presentation, saw Java as an "all-encompassing computer platform" and talked about planning to "attack the Microsoft franchise." In videotaped testimony recorded earlier this year, however, Schmidt said such a plan had not in the end been mounted. Microsoft lawyers also showed a slide presentation put together by Bill Joy for the Java Products Group, later to become JavaSoft. The slides detailed plans for Kona, a Java-based operating system styled at that time as competing for the desktop space. Kona turned into JavaOS and was targeted at consumer and embedded systems use. A second project, Jive, was described by Joy as a planned enterprise operating system that would compete with Windows NT. The Jive project appears to have sunk without trace, all apart from the "tuple spaces" element which is set to re-emerge in Sun's forthcoming Jini distributed computing technology. Joy's strategic plan also included details of the Java silicon projects then called Decaf and Cafe. Decaf turned into MicroJava, and Cafe was the basis of UltraJava, the new high-end CPU Sun plans to tape out next year (see separate story). According to Joy's 1995 plans, Cafe was "a major strategic technology that will give value-add against [Intel's] x86 that Sparc currently doesn't provide." It was a way, he wrote, for Sun "to get out from under Intel." 100 Projects a Day Challenged by Microsoft lawyer Tom Burt, Java author James Gosling, then chief scientist at JavaSoft, denied knowing of many of the 1995 discussions, but did admit that Sun had viewed Java as a means of making applications independent of both operating system and chip architecture. He said that Joy typically "came up with 100 projects a day, and gave them all names." Burt attempted to get Gosling to agree that Sun had intended to implement the Java Virtual Machine onto silicon as part of the Cafe project, in order to bypass the need for an operating system. "That," said Gosling "would be a nutty thing to do, to use a technical term. You don't understand how bad an idea that would be." The more of the Virtual Machine you put in the silicon, the slower it gets, he said. Motives for doing such a thing would be to minimize the size of code rather than getting high performance. Government lawyers appeared confused as to where the line of questioning was leading, and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson upheld an objection against showing a videotaped deposition of Bill Joy, made for the Microsoft/Sun legal battle in San Jose, saying it was "irrelevant." Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray, however, said the proceedings "disprove the Government's fundamental point that Microsoft has no competition. Sun is an $8bn company, competition is intense, and can come from any direction." Gosling is likely to be questioned by Microsoft lawyers for another day and a half, Burt told the court.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 3, 1998
Words:641
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