Microsoft has done itself and its customers a disservice, according to George Paolini, vice-president of Sun's Java Community Development, writes Caroline Davis.
Paoloni's condemnation of Microsoft's tactics to stifle the uptake of Java came in a speech at Sun's European Press and Analysts' Conference. He also said that last week's anti-trust ruling by the US Department of Justice will not stall Sun's development plans when it comes to Java.
In his ruling against Microsoft, Judge Jackson said, "Microsoft's campaign succeeded in preventing - for several years, and perhaps permanently - Navigator and Java from fulfiling their potential to open the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems to competition on merit."
Sun launched an independent legal action to stop Microsoft adding proprietary extensions to Java in 1997. Earlier this year, a judge ruled that Microsoft must notify developers when they use features particular to the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine. Paolini said, "Our suit has stalled Microsoft from Java activities for 18 months. It's hurt them - they are now lagging in true Internet capability."
He added, "Microsoft's claim that XML can handle things previously done in Java is misguided."
Last month, Microsoft revealed that the European Commission investigation into Windows 2000 had been instigated by a complaint from Sun. The EC now says that this case could be resolved with the remedies which will follow the Department of Justice's ruling.
But Microsoft, which intends to appeal against the ruling, says the concerns of the European Commission about the way Windows 2000 is built and designed around other Microsoft products is misguided.
Microsoft says Sun's complaint to the EC was only made because Sun was losing out to Microsoft in the server market, and because its products aren't good enough.