Microsoft, Sun Reach Agreement on JVM Support

Microsoft will offer technical support for its Java Virtual Machine until October 2004 under a legal agreement announced Tuesday with Sun Microsystems.

The deal gives customers an additional nine months of support for the Microsoft JVM (MSJVM). The companies say they reached the deal to give developers extra time to remove support for the MSJVM from their products.

"Industrywide replacement of the MSJVM may be a significant undertaking. This agreement gives customers who require it more time to make the transition, with assurance that Microsoft will continue repairing any critical concerns in the MSJVM while the transition is under way," said Rich Green, vice president of the Sun Developer Platforms Group, in a joint statement with Microsoft.

Chris Jones, Microsoft vice president for the Windows Client Division, said Microsoft has continued the process of phasing out the MSJVM from its products. The companies are also posting information and tools at to assist customers in migrating away from the MSJVM.

This is the latest agreement in the long dispute over Java. Sun contends that Microsoft slowed the momentum of its Java technology, which had promise as a rival to operating systems because of its cross-platform portability. According to Sun, Microsoft's decision to use its Java license to create a distinct version of Java fragmented the market. Sun continues to pursue a $1 billion lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the giant abused its operating system monopoly to kill Java.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.