Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Judge Voices Microsoft's Point in Trial

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Judge Voices Microsoft's Point in Trial

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- The federal judge overseeing the Microsoft antitrust trial pointedly echoed the software giant's defense Thursday in questioning a witness from Sun Microsystems about the relative merits of the companies' competing computer language programming products.

After both sides had questioned Sun Vice President James Gosling, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson asked the witness whether Microsoft's version of Sun's Java language was a better product.

"Didn't what Microsoft do was grasp the significance of work you were doing and run with it and produce in a very short time a better version than what you had?" Jackson asked Gosling. "And they simply couldn't wait for you to catch up." Gosling, unshaken throughout his four days on the stand, disagreed. "Their version of `better' is tied to the Windows platform and prevents interoperability with other platforms," he told Jackson. Sun has consistently maintained that interoperability is Java's key feature. Jackson will decide whether Microsoft violated antitrust laws at the non-jury trial. Earlier Thursday, Gosling testified that the world's largest software maker disguised its efforts to subvert Sun's computer programming language with offers to work with the company to develop its product. "Our view is when Microsoft was often holding out their hand, there was a knife in it and they were expecting us to grab the blade," Gosling testified. Gosling, the creator of Java, said Microsoft has misrepresented the relationship between the two companies. Microsoft has contended Sun repeatedly spurned requests for guidance designed to improve Microsoft's modified Java products. Gosling's testimony supported allegations by the U.S. Justice Department and 19 states that Microsoft subverted Java as part of an illegal effort to protect its Windows monopoly. …

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