An emergency motion filed by Microsoft lawyers on Wednesday claimed that Sun does not face any "imminent irreparable harm" that could require Microsoft to include Java in its Windows operating system.
In December, judge Frederick Motz ordered Microsoft to ship Sun's Java with Windows, and on Tuesday, Motz gave Microsoft 120 days from 4 February to begin doing so. The 4 February date was given to allow Microsoft time to appeal.
In the emergency motion, Microsoft called the court's order "extreme and unprecedented" and asked for it to be shelved pending appeal.
Microsoft's lawyers said Sun's Java is the leader in the market for Internet-enabled distributed platforms and argued that future competition is no grounds for the order to include Sun's Java in Windows now. They insisted Immediate irreparable loss or damage must be proven.
Without an additional stay from the appeals court, Microsoft will have to start work on including Java in Windows on 4 February. Microsoft's lawyers argued this would require "an enormous amount" of Microsoft's engineering resources and would affect the quality of the software and service the company offers.
Sun had asked the court to order Microsoft to distribute the Sun Java Virtual Machine as part of its multimillion-dollar private antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. It claimed Microsoft had used its monopoly to flood the market with versions of Java that are not compatible with Sun's Java.
Sun lawyers have said the order is necessary because Sun's Java is losing ground to Microsoft's .net development framework.