Microsoft play dirty with Java
Copyright © 1996 to Bruce Simpson
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It is becoming obvious just how much of a threat Java poses to Microsoft's domination of the computer software industry.

Right for the start, Microsoft has given only reluctant acceptance of the Java juggernaught - being one of the very last of the "big" names to enter into a license with Sun, well behind IBM, Novell and all the others.

Now, feeling the pressure growing, Microsoft has announced that it may not be supporting the next "Java Standard", release 1.1 and that it will be producing its own Java product that includes Windows-specific components and a native-code compiler targetting the WinTel platform.

This intention to draw developers away from the true standards and holly grail of platform independence has outraged many developers who see it as Microsoft's way of attempting to ruin Java's success.

This whole situation could turn quite nasty if Microsoft don't carefully read their license agreement with Sun. The terms and conditions of that a Java license very clearly spell out that some of the paths which Microsoft intend to follow would breach that agreement. Sun could be expected to actively enforce compliance if such breaches actually occured. If this were to happen we could see the largest legal battle since Microsoft versus Apple over the trash-can Icon.

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