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Sun and Microsoft Settle Litigation

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the I-guess-we-can-all-just-get-along dept.

Sun Microsystems 427

spurious cowherd writes "According to The Register Sun Microsystems & Microsoft have reached a settlement in their several lawsuits aainst each other. Sun gets $2B and both parties agree to share intellectual property." There's a press release to read as well.

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Two things stand out (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746662)

1) MS is *not* pledging to keep Java up-to-date on the Windows platform, which basically means that applets like mine (see sig) have to use Java 1.1 and nothing higher. Sure, people can download the Java plugin, and lots do, but more don't. On a casual visit to a website, no-one will go through the rigmarole of downloading and installing the latest Java, just to see your applet...

2) I'm a bit concerned about the "As a result of this agreement, Sun and Microsoft engineers will cooperate to allow identity information to be easily shared between Microsoft Active Directory and the Sun Java System Identity Server" part. The single-signon used to be limited to MS-only platforms, now it has the capability to reach into linux-server land :-(

If I were being really cynical, I might conclude that MS had spent $2B of it's ample reserves to purchase an extension of single-sign-on into unix (linux and solaris) territory at a time when Sun needed cash.

It might just slap the EU back into line a bit as well, considering that MS will *spend* $2B to *possibly get* an advantage. What was that fine again ? (Yes, I know about the other measures, but you can only respond with what you have, and MS has loads of cash)

Simon the cynic.

Re:Two things stand out (1, Troll)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746735)

I don't understand why Sun can just pull Microsoft's license so they can't call it "Java" anymore. I would say Sun is a little shortsighted, but there's no hope for them with Ashcroft asleep at the wheel. The 2 billion is just a smokescreen. Microsoft wouldn't have budged if it didn't think it would be able to use its monopoly power to force a "C#" VM on the Windows users in the very near future.

Re:Two things stand out (4, Interesting)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746835)

In reality, the only way to force a ".NET" engine (C# VM as you call it) onto every computer is if they start using .NET to distribute the automatic-updates web site that 85% of all Win computers rely on for security patches.

Even then, they wouldn't be able to force web sites to use it - now without financial incentive. Further, most web designers actually care about cross-platform capability (even if their customers don't).

Just food for thought.

Re:Two things stand out (4, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746742)

Large proprietary unix vendor and large proprietary windows vendor agree to share intellectual property.

Not good for software-patent sanity, open source, etc.

IBM vs. Sun (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746849)

This can't make IBM and HP (if they're still relevant) happy.

From the press release [] :
"Patents and Intellectual Property: The parties have agreed to a broad covenant not to sue with respect to all past patent infringement claims they may have against each other. The agreement also provides for potential future extensions of this type of covenant. The two companies have also agreed to embark on negotiations for a patent cross-license agreement between them. "

I expect Solaris10-patent/Linux lawsuits to follow. With the MSFT involvement, I think Sun's the next SCO.

Sun as the next SCO? (4, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746917)

Parent wrote: "I expect Solaris10-patent/Linux lawsuits to follow. With the MSFT involvement, I think Sun's the next SCO."

I would hope not; but this seems like an interesting fear. Seems Sun is the last Unix vendor left whose strategy is based on a very large R&D investment in a proprietary Unix; and it is in both their interest and Microsoft's for Sun to protect this investment.

Re:IBM vs. Sun (5, Insightful)

drzhivago (310144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746947)

Cross-licensing patents is a common occurrence between technology companies. There really isn't anything unusual there, I think.

Re:IBM vs. Sun (1)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746954)

Sun is still committed to selling GNU/Linux on their extensive line [] of x86 servers [] .

"Supports Solaris 9 Operating System x86 Platform Edition and standard Linux distributions from Sun".

Mention that again when they pull the word Linux off of all their web pages, and I'll believe you. (winks).

No need for conspiracy... (5, Interesting)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746769)

To your second point... Both Java and Microsoft have separate "single sign on" web solutions that are fully incompatible. And yes, this could mean that linux boxes could potentially run software that directly integrates with a .NET login group. That's not entirely a bad thing.

Microsoft has continuously tried to defeat Linux by forcing features on users that are incompatible with Linux, while Linux produces a workaround or a compatability layer. Well, this would be one less thing to try and workaround.

I don't think this is an advantage for Microsoft as now .NET developers can choose to use hybrid Java/.NET solutions that both do authentication depending on which language is the better choice for that task.

Re:Two things stand out (1, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746831)


You're just ticking everyone off. Most web users hate it when they come to a page and have to wait for the applet to load so they can use their browser again. If you want to deploy an application easily, use Java Webstart.

Try this.

1. Go here [] .
2. After you come back, click on this link: Launch Now! [] .

More great Webstart apps can be found at Up2Go [] .

Re:Two things stand out (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746874)

Yeah, right. What I get is a 1.7Mbyte download, followed by a dialogue box saying 'It is highly recommended that you not install and run this software'.

I think I'll stick to the applet.

(Posted no-karma, etc...)

Re:Two things stand out (0, Insightful)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746902)

1. Go here. 2. After you come back, click on this link: Launch Now!.

That's better than applets?? Camino downloaded some .jnlp file that I had to manually execute and it started Java and executed something and started downloading jar files from that web site. Then an app window popped up warning me about how your java app is trying to gain unrestricted access to my computer and network! Of course I clicked exit since this is what the warning recommends. How about everyone stop writing in Java period and just use perl or php? Java sucks.

Re:Two things stand out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746960)

Not to attack someone who I basically agree with, but you couldn't really do my applet in perl/php without taking a massive amount of bandwidth (animated gif generated on the fly perhaps. Ouch). Of course, you could argue it shouldn't be there at all, instead :-)

(Posted no-karma, etc.)

Re:Two things stand out (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746984)

1. Camino is (unfortuntaely) very poor at figuring out that JNLP files are actually executable and safe. Safari does a much better job with them.

2. It's a complete application to access databases. You can see it here: [] . It requests unrestricted access from you so that it can talk over the network and stash drivers on the hard disk. If you go to Up2Go, you'll find plenty of applications that don't request extra permissions.

3. Do you know of any other technologies that actually *warn* you when launching a potentially unsafe application? Microsoft thought it was A-OK to allow embedded web controls full access to your machine. Now ActiveX controls are responsible for auto-installing web-toolbars and spyware.

Sorry I forgot about the security warning. If it really bothers you, go try an application on Up2Go that's marked 100% safe.

Re:Two things stand out (1)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746904)

Uh, yeah - O.K. - I'm using Mozilla 1.7beta on Linux - and it appears that to use the stuff you are linking - I have to go install some jnlp and make my browser think it knows what to do with it. Applets are much easier

And how is an applet supposed to piss me off, when your method is more difficult for me?

Re:Two things stand out (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746996)

It's no harder than installing a plugin like RealAudio or Flash....

Re:Two things stand out (1)

AndyElf (23331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8747020)

OT: Are you serious? Check AquaDataStudio -- free and does by far more than the dateddino...

Re:Two things stand out (4, Informative)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746881)

I agree with most of what you said. However people not downloading a "new" JVM is becoming far less of an issue. As more and more people get higher speed access to the net and the download/install of the jvm gets better this will become a non-issue. The current JVM is around 5MB and installs without much of a problem on Windows. This is little different than flash. A new version comes out and if I want to view that site, I have to download it and install it.

Now for the more serious matter. You better stop developing applets. They are almost dead. Look at the webstart stuff. That appears to be the direction Sun has been going for a while now. Also, I don't see how you are in any worse of a position now than before this agreement between Sun and Microsoft took place, in regards to Applets. Microsoft was NEVER EVER going to ship a Sun 1.2 or 1.3 or 1.4 or 1.5 compatable JVM. Most developers knew this for a while. The last thing Microsoft wants is for their OS to not be needed.

Re:Two things stand out (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746932)

In the highly-developed world that I (and probably you) live in, fast net.access is commonplace - I've had 2mbits to my house for ages now.

The problem for my applet is that it's a worldwide thing - I want it to be accessible without *any* large download - there are loads of cities located that are in out-of-the-way places where it's almost certainly dialup access only.

As for point 2, settling a lawsuit sometimes has strange results, and it might have been possible for Sun to wring out support for the 'current' VM , or a bundle, or something. The tone of the story-post and the Register article was that Sun had won and MS lost. I'm not so sure that's the case...

(Posted no-karma, etc. etc.)

Re:Two things stand out (4, Insightful)

thegrommit (13025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746949)

Applets? Thankfully this will hopefully kill them. What worries me is this:

Microsoft Communications Protocol Program: Sun has agreed to sign a license for the Windows desktop operating system communications protocols under Microsoft's Communications Protocol Program, established pursuant to Microsoft's consent decree and final judgment with the U.S. Department of Justice and 18 state attorneys general.

Who knows what changes (i.e. restrictions) Microsoft is going to make to their protocols in the future. While the likes of Sun will have the right to use those protocols, what effect is this going to have on open source projects which don't have the ability to purchase a license?

Haha (4, Funny) (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746668)

Ha ha, very funny. April wait, it's the second! Wow, imagine that!

Re:Haha (1)

pagen (52961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746825)

That was my response - had this come out yesterday - I would have blown by it until I read the paper today.

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746911)

And just last month, S&P redesignated SUNW to junk bond status. Now they have no debt *and* are cash rich.

And in related stock news... (-1, Offtopic)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746669)

... Microsoft stock sinks as $2bil walks swiftly out the door. Today is indeed a good day!

Re:And in related stock news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746685)

I'm betting the stock will be up on the news.

Does this mean Sun will be profitable this quarter (3, Interesting)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746678)

Seriously, not to be a troll. I really think that MS did damage Sun. I wonder if this $2B will give them a profit this quarter. They sure could use one...

Re:Does this mean Sun will be profitable this quar (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746730)

Almost as much as Sun damaged itself. It looks like Scott has put his ego on the backburner and is focusing on saving his business. That new attitude (if it lasts) is probably as significant as the $1.95 billion.

Re:Does this mean Sun will be profitable this quar (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746738)

Microsoft dammaged Sun with MSJava, Sun sued to stop it. Sun won and Microsoft started shipping Sun Java. Sun sued to stop that as well. Microsoft shipped no Java, this hurt Sun more then MSJava and was Suns own fault. Sun didn't know when to stop, there was a point where all was well and Microsoft was shipping the right product. Ah well.

Re:Does this mean Sun will be profitable this quar (1)

geschild (43455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746801)

Not really. As I understand it, MS refused to ship Sun's Java VM and Sun lost the bid to make MS ship it with MSWindows*. MS just told Sun to F off after it got it's own little thingy (.Njet)

Re:Does this mean Sun will be profitable this quar (2, Informative)

spurious cowherd (104353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746766)

It certainly didn't hurt Sun's stock. Up ~20% today

Hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746686)

2,000,000,000 is a lot of money.

Re:Hmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746779)

Actually, 2 billion = 2,000,000,000,000

Try reading a dictionary sometime.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746869)

Uhh, that's 2 TRILLION... you must work Enron or maybe Worldcom's accounting department.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746936)

Actually, 2 billion = 2,000,000,000,000

Try reading a dictionary sometime.

2 billion = 2 x 10^9 (that's a two with 9 zeroes after it)

Maybe you should try reading a math book sometime instead of a dictionary.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746967)

He'd get the same result, no doubt. The problem is, what in some cultures is called 2 billion is in others called 2 thousand million, and in the latter 2 billion means what in the former 2 trillion means.

Re:Hmmmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746941)

Neither of these are off topic. The issue is how does the $2,000,000,000 ($2 billion) effect MS Stock. If Sun took a 15% jump as listed above, the issue is a fair point. Sun has been listing in March a bit and this could be a nice shot in the arm. In the same period, MS has dropped as well. No big change yet today. Should see response by 12:00 on the east coast.

Potential this could be a win-win for both sides form a stock perspective!

Helps, but Sun is still hurting. (5, Interesting)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746698)

Doubling your available cash assests (Yahoo Finance) [] will help, but the company is still bleeding money. (Dropping 3,000+ jobs will also help.) Really what this appears to mean is that Microsoft has put Sun on life support so they don't become the only vendor in the virtual machine driven software development market. Imagine the potential antitrust suit if Java wasn't there to compete against dot Net. Frankly, I think this shows that Microsoft thinks it is winning this battle, otherwise they wouldn't have thrown the bone to them.

Re:Helps, but Sun is still hurting. (3, Insightful)

Ryosen (234440) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746802)

Sun's death would not take Java with it. Quite the contrary, it might just free it up. As for being the only one in the virtual machine market, there are several other companies that produce virtual machines for Java. IBM is one such example, offering both stand alone and clustered VM's. There are several other 3rd party VMs as well as some open source [] ones.

And, with complete sympathy to those who use Java for developing applets and lament MS' continuing lack of support in their browser, Java's strength, both on the functional and marketable fronts, is on the server-side. Microsoft is still a long way from conquering the middleware/application server market.

Re:Helps, but Sun is still hurting. (3, Interesting)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746905)

I'm pretty sure that is the *last* thing Microsoft would want to see... an open source Java. Heck, perhaps the Sun "no, we won't open source" has been combined with back channel "unless you continue to beat us up"... ... ah, the Tin Foil fits nicely after long wearing it got on April 1 ....

Re:Helps, but Sun is still hurting. (2)

Coward the Anonymous (584745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746829)

I honestly think that if Sun gets to the point where it will go out of business that IBM will snatch them up faster than 2 jiggles of a jack rabbit's bottom.

Re:Helps, but Sun is still hurting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746848)

so they don't become the only vendor in the virtual machine driven software development market

There's also Cincom with VisualWorks, IBM with VisualAge Smalltalk, and a lot Smalltalk developers perfectly happy to see Java pushed out of the way

Re:Helps, but Sun is still hurting. (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746965)

Of course look what good Microsoft has done helping Apple....

Sooo..... (2, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746699)

So does this mean that Windows will start shipping with Java again? Or will Sun kick their own nut sack again and counter sue to stop Microsoft from shipping any version of Java (again)?

Re:Sooo..... (1)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746784)

I hope windows ships with Suns JVM and make updates avalable via windows windows update to make things easier and better for evryone.

Re:Sooo..... (1)

leifm (641850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746914)

The way I read it, it means they are going to continue to support it, previously I believe support for MSJVM ended in September of this year. I would guess they still won't ship it, this agreement just lets them keep supporting the dolts that wrote applets or whatever against the MSJVM.

And really I don't think Windows needs to ship with it, as much as I like Java I'd be just fine with never seeing a Java app on my desktop ever again.

All you had to do was use logic..... (5, Funny)

telstar (236404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746706)

Seriously ... what's the point of having a place with Windows if there's no Sun out there to light things up? By the way ... Is it still April 1st in some timezone I'm not aware of?

War is over! (-1, Offtopic) (655706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746710)

Now the war is over. But as always nobody has won in this war. There are many causualities. But don`t be afraid there are still many people who are independent and their number grows

2 Bills? (1, Troll)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746716)

"According to The Register Sun Microsystems & Microsoft have reached a settlement in their 10 year old lawsuit. Sun gets $2B and both parties agree to share intellectual property."

Whoa......Apple got ripped off with the $150 Million settlement with their suit against Microsoft. But of course, Microsoft agreed to continue Office development for the Mac which would be hard to quantify in terms of investment potential. Additionally, there was the matter of Microsoft attempting to get Apple to kill Quicktime development......

Re:2 Bills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746971)

Additionally, there was the matter of Microsoft attempting to get Apple to kill Quicktime development

Perhaps that would have been for the best. Apple is currently being sued again by Apple Corps Ltd. because of the direct fruits of Quicktime development, and could lose billions.

I don't know if I can believe it. (1, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746719)

I've never heard Mcnelly speak without bashing microsoft. ... Is it even possible?

I can. (4, Funny)

baudilus (665036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746818)

$2,000,000,000 changes a person.

working together (1)

sittingbull (526322) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746721)

"...get their products to work better together..." Isn't this in general what computing/WWW is all about anyway working better together - sheesh! Now 2,000,000,000 is a nice round number for Sun me thinks.

Final nail in Sun's coffin (-1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746724)

Maybe it's just me, but I think this is the final nail in Sun's coffin. It shows that they're in more of a Microsoft mindframe than a good open source player mindframe.

Re:Final nail in Sun's coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746783)

Look at the amount of money Sun is loosing at the moment, look at the amount of money M$ is paying them now and then think about what you would have done being in Sun's position.

This is not about Sun being a good open source bussiness or not.

Re:Final nail in Sun's coffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8747015)

Being an open source player would be the final nail in their coffin.

In other news (4, Funny)

UltimaGuy (745333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746726)

SCO and IBM settled their long standing dispute with IBM agreeing to pay SCO 3 billions and SCO accepting that Linux source code does not belong to them :-) And Bill Gates and RMS met over a dinner and shared jokes about their college days.

Microsoft agrees to pay $2 billion (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746728)

Forced to buy less tissues this week. Allergic Microsoft employees suffer with only two boxes per desk.

And some people wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746732)

why some people call Microsoft M$.

Re:And some people wonder (1)

sittingbull (526322) | more than 10 years ago | (#8747013)

Actually it would be -M$, since they lost some dough.

The disparity of timelines (5, Insightful)

LetterJ (3524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746733)

The disparity of timelines between activities in technology and those in court is staggering. If you look even just at this case and the anti-trust case against Microsoft, they're still arguing about issues in court that have pretty much been steamrolled by technology. As a result, the settlements and results are less than satisfying for anyone other than the lawyers. I mean, Sun and Microsoft have been fighting about this for several years. By now, anyone needing to use a JDK on Windows has set up methods for making sure it's there, and Microsoft has done their entire .NET strategy.

This is almost like divorce arguments where people fight over furniture even though both sides have long since replaced the disputed furniture. When it's over, all that happens is that someone now has a couch they don't have room for.

Re:The disparity of timelines (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746847)

If the couch is worth $2B it somehow eases the pain.

Re:The disparity of timelines (1)

LetterJ (3524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746997)

I'm not saying it's an inexpensive couch, but it still needs to be taken in context. If you have $100 in your wallet and, after going to court, you're asked to pay $5, you're probably not going to complain much.

The Appeal (1, Funny)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746734)

Shortly after agreeing to settle, Microsoft realized $2 Bil was a lot of money, and immediately approached the DOJ to have the settlement blocked.

damn it (-1, Troll)

SQLz (564901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746744)

This means Sun is going to be around even longer!?! Man. That sucks. I wish they would take their 'now we love linux, now we don't' attitude and bugger off.

This is good for Sun (5, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746746)

Any general knows that fighting a two front war is a bad thing, and Sun has effectively limited one of the fronts they are fighting on. But, the other front could kill them. IBM has a special mission to kill Sun dead, and they are a formidable foe. With their sweet computers (all of which run Linux) and their low prices, Sun can barely compete.

Sun needed this cash and the break with the fight with Microsoft. But I doubt that in the long run it will be enough. Their Opteron strategy just has to pay off for them if they want to last another 10 years.

Where do you want Java to go today? (4, Interesting)

LenE (29922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746747)

$2 Billion is the most that Microsoft has EVER payed out to any company. To reach a settlement like this, they may have future plans to do a lot more with Java. Technology sharing...

-- Len

Re:Where do you want Java to go today? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746794)

Well, when I read this story on the yahoo message boards it sounded like M$ was financing SUN like they did SCO as a linux competitor. This Slashdot posting is more easy on my nerves but if what you say is true and this is thier biggest payoff, maybe there is something more to it, hell, i dunno.

gwoat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746760)

What is the B for (3, Funny)

PinternetGroper (595689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746762)

B is for billion, right, not just bucks? wow!

oh goodie, goodie! (2, Interesting)

nikin (638522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746771)

So, what's the catch?

Re:oh goodie, goodie! (0)

ash*embers (725483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746890)

"Technical Collaboration The Technical Collaboration Agreement will provide both companies with access to aspects of each other's server-based technology and will enable them to use this information to develop new server software products that will work better together. The cooperation will initially center on Windows Server and Windows Client, but will eventually include other important areas"

Like Palladium? Security nuts would love it if M$ and Sun partnered up on internet-viewable CPU ID's.

Uncharacteristic Wording (4, Funny)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746772)

After all the rancor over the last few years the wording of the press release is so mechical...I wonder if you can see Scott McNealy's new borg implant blinking in the video coverage.

Geological process (4, Interesting)

Ikkyu (84373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746780)

I notice a number of people commenting on the balance of Microsoft's cash on hand. I believe that we will witness erosion of the giant rather than the instant destruction. A billion here five hundred million there, a few lost customers, a few governmental restrictions, pressure to give deep discounts they all add up and over time the surplus will erode away. How are they going to fight when they can't throw money at their problems, when they can't afford to take a loss in furtherance of their strangle hold?

Re:Geological process (0)

BhAaD (692949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746942)

Not when their yearly revenue(2003) is $37 Billion and profit is $10 Billion.

Re:Geological process (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746946)

They are adding to their mountain of cash at a faster rate then they are taking money out to pay fines/bribes like this one...

April Fools Joke? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746781)

Ok today is the second this is getting a little old.

Fine print (4, Interesting)

mseeger (40923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746790)


i believe the most interesting line is:

Sun is also satisfied that the agreements announced today satisfy the objectives it was pursuing in the EU actions pending against Microsoft.

As Sun was the major complaining competitor in the EU case, this gives M$ a lot of fire support when trying to challenge the record fine. Another indication is the timing: shortly after the EU announced the fine.

Regards, Martin

Microsoft sharing their IP? (0, Redundant)

KRzBZ (707148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746791)

It's April 2nd, fools. This should have been posted yesterday. Besides, who would want to share *anything* with m$, given their history of dealing with "partners"? m$ could be a character in "The Sopranos"...

In other words... (4, Insightful)

kclittle (625128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746808)

...Microsoft wins again.

Think about it; think about how little $2B is to MS, compared to 10 years with no harassment from Sun.

William Henry Gates III is the greatest capitalist tactician since John D. Rockefeller. I do not see that as necessarily positive. But, damn, he can sure play the game.

Re:In other words... (1)

jspayne (98716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746982)

think about how little $2B is to MS

Well, according to Cringely [] , $2bn is only2 months worth of MS cash. This article does a good job of explaining why none of this makes any difference


Re:In other words... (1)

bobaferret (513897) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746990)

I belive it is no herassment for ten years from PAST ip infringments. Not future ingringments. This doesn't mean MS can steal all of SUN's ip tomarrow and avoid litigat for ten years. It read like "we won't bother you for ten years abouth the things we already know about"


print the whole headline please (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8746827)

Sun settles with Microsoft, cuts 3,300 jobs I3 MTYxNDkEdGVzdAMwBHRtcGwDbnMtYmV0YQ--/s/171067
Sun Settles With Microsoft, Cuts Jobs
17 minutes ago

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By MAY WONG, AP Technology Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Struggling server maker Sun Microsystems Inc. reached a sweeping, $1.6 billion settlement with Microsoft Corp. and said it plans to cooperate with its longtime nemesis, a company it had branded an unrepentant monopolist.

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The surprise agreement was accompanied by an announcement Friday by Sun that it is cutting 3,300 jobs and that its net loss for the fiscal third quarter will be wider than expected. The cuts represent 9 percent of its total work force of more than 35,000.

The "broad cooperating agreement" with Microsoft ends Sun's $1 billion private antitrust suit against the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Sun's complaints also helped spark the investigation that led to the European Union (news - web sites)'s recent record fine against Microsoft.

"It puts peace on the table in a big way," said Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive, during a conference call Friday.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will pay Sun $700 million to resolve the antitrust case, which was scheduled to go to trial in January 2006, and $900 million to resolve patent issues. Sun and Microsoft also will pay royalties for each others' technologies.

"Our companies will continue to compete hard, but this agreement creates a new basis for cooperation that will benefit the customers of both companies," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive officer.

Sun's biggest claim -- and the main charge in its antitrust against Microsoft -- involved the Java programming environment Sun created to allow software to run on all computers regardless of the operating system.

Sun said Microsoft violated its license agreement by creating its own version of Java, thus making it less universal. Though a settlement of that case was reached, both sides ended up in court again after Microsoft said it planned to stop supporting Java.

Under Friday's agreement, Microsoft "may continue to provide product support" for its version of the software, called Microsoft Java Virtual Machine.

The deal also creates cooperation between the companies in the technical area of Web-based applications and user identity management between Sun and Microsoft servers. Sun also agreed to sign a license that will allow its software to better communicate with Windows-based desktop computers.

The agreement settles Sun's complaint over Microsoft's server communications that led to the EU's decision against Microsoft last month. That ruling also was based on Microsoft's bundling of its media player with its ubiquitous Windows operating system, though Sun did not play a role in that complaint.

"Sun is also satisfied that the agreements announced today satisfy the objectives it was pursuing in the EU actions pending against Microsoft," Sun said in a statement Friday.

The agreement is an unprecedented change in the relationship between the two companies.

Sun's McNealy often railed against Microsoft, repeatedly calling Microsoft a monopoly and its .Net Web services technology "dot-Not." He often used the world "hairball" in describing Microsoft's proprietary software.

But the anti-Microsoft rants quieted in recent months, as Sun struggled to post a profit and the companies worked at resolving the issues between them. On Friday, Sun executives said discussions have been ongoing since Sun licensed Java to Microsoft.

Sun, once a shining star of Silicon Valley, also said it expects revenue for the quarter ended March 28 to be approximately $2.65 billion. Net loss will be between $750 million and $810 million, or 23 cents to 25 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were projecting a loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $2.85 billion.

Shares of Sun rose on the news, up 39 cents to $4.58 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Microsoft shares rose 55 cents to $

This is the end... my only friend the end. (2, Interesting)

lonesometrainer (138112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746833)

Shit. Sun sold their soul. See the press-release: "Microsoft Support for Java: The companies have agreed that Microsoft may continue to provide product support for the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine that customers have deployed in Microsoft's products".

Dear Scott, now that you've sold your soul, have dealt with the devil: what's next? DOT-NET compatibility layers for Java? Cooperation with Unisys to provider 32-CPU servers for Windows Datacenter edition? IMHO you've just destroyed your lifework, no wonder all your buddies left your company in the last years...

This is just sad.

Re:This is the end... my only friend the end. (1)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746924)

At least Scott can say that he brought cash into the company when he's fighting to hold on to the CEO title.

re: Sun and Microsoft Settle Litigation (1)

tuc (704304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746839)

Two billion is a lot of cash but, as they say, the devil is in the details. The Register has mory details than usual for a story like this, but things are still sketchy. For example:

Future Collaboration for Java and .NET Sun and Microsoft have agreed that they will work together to improve technical collaboration between their Java and .NET technologies.

What exactly does this mean? Could part of the $2*10^9 be a bribe to weaken Java's competitive position vs. .NET?

Not 2B, but 1.6B (1)

akiaki007 (148804) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746844)

There is a difference. While not much between 2.0 and 1.6, but when it's to the 8th power, it's a big number. Hey, the difference is nearly the entire EU settlement.

Quote things properly please.

What's gonna happen in the EU now? (2, Interesting)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746859)

From the article:

Legal Settlements: The two companies are settling and terminating their lawsuit in the United States. Sun is also satisfied that the agreements announced today satisfy the objectives it was pursuing in the EU actions pending against Microsoft.

[ emphasis was added by me ]

I thought Sun was the primary driver behind the whole thing in the first place. What's going to happen now?

Several things: (1, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746860)

1) $2B to one company vs 600M to all of Europe.

2) Collaboration on .Net and Java - Here it is people, the reason why there will be no open source Java. MS already got their hands in it.

3) Incedentally, MS will use this to kill off Java.

McNealy is a moron. He screwes up time and time again and still maintains a company. This man is truly a ledgend. I think McBride idolizes him, but McBride won't survive. He's just not that good.

And what is it with Irish dumbasses (Mc*) running tech-biz?

This is good (0, Redundant)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746879)

Microsoft's and Sun's customers win the gain the most out of this...this will lead to better product compatibility and quality.It's good when 2 Huge company's work togheter and share technology.Big win for all =]

Interpretation of PR (3, Interesting)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746907)

I read the press release and this is what I get out of it:

MS gives Sun some cash
Sun helps MS fix .NET and user authentication problems in Windows
Sun sells Windows on Sun Xeon and Opteron boxes
Sun hands over any good ideas they have left
Sun never sues MS ever again for their illegal business practices.

I can only hope that this news will run SUNW up high enough so I can finally get out.


Re:Interpretation of PR (2, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746991)

I think your points 1 and 2 are not quite right..

MS gives Sun some cash
MS gives Sun some loose change it found lying around down the back of BG's sofa.

Sun helps MS fix .NET and user authentication problems in Window
Sun accepts that a single sign on is a good thing, ushers in LibertyPassport system....

Strange bedfellows (3, Interesting)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746909)

This deal reminds me of the Apple/Microsoft deal. If you can't beat 'em, give them a whole lot of money to become "technical partners."

I wonder how StarOffice for Windows fits into this? I doubt that it's going to be around to much longer.

This would also explain why Sun doesn't want to open source Java.

I knew it was cold today... (1)

Serapth (643581) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746918)

... but I had no idea it was cold enough for hell to freeze over! I have to believe this is a belated April fools day joke... these companies hate each other almost as much as the Oracle vs Microsoft feud. I mean... this went beyond an industry spat it was downright personal.

Funny thing is, this sounds alot like when Microsoft bailed out Corel... look how it turned out for them! Sun isnt exactly as strong as it once was... this is a bad sign of things to come.

Two... (1)

adius (613006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746940)

Billiun Dollars (holding up crooked pinky) muahahahahah (Sorry, couldn't resist myself)

JVM on windows (-1, Offtopic)

butane_bob2003 (632007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746944)

We have been looking into a Windows specific problem with slow compilation. If we are not pre-compiling JSP on Windows, initial page loads can take up to a minute or more on windows, where on linux they take 5-10 seconds to compile (same server hardware). Don't know if the it's the JSP engine's JSP->Servlet dynamic compiler or the java compiler itself on windows platforms, but something is taking lots of time (have not tried real profiling yet). We jokingly suspect that the OS is just not allowing things to happen quickly (JVM wants to spawn a thread? It can wait....) but this is just a joke... right? There would not be intentional performance bottle necks built in to effect the JVM specifically, would there? Is it unintentional, a direct effect of a bad design somewhere in windows or the jvm/compiler implementation? Or is it just bad code somewhere else? (what, dont look at me. My code is perfect...)

Ok, I have no hope that this settlement and our problem are related, time to dust off the profiler and do some actual work...

EU? (5, Interesting)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746948)

Sun gets $2B and both parties agree to share intellectual property

Compare this $2B with the $600M fine [] levied by the European Union. The difference between the two values is revealing, and can be intepreted in two ways. Either the EU judgement was yet another fudge, and Microsoft have once more got off lightly after being convicted of monopoly abuse.

Or, a large part of the intellectual property sharing is a Java payoff. In particular, Sun may have agreed to waive any complaints regarding the fact that C# is lifted from Java, in return for the large pile of cash.

Personally, I think both explainations are equally probable, and the reality is an admixture of the two.

Re:EU? (2, Interesting)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8747026)

Sun's biggest mistake was killing Microsoft's JVM. I work in application support and Sun's JVM sucks. Each vendor requires a different version of a JVM and older java applets are not compatable with the newer JVMs. All Sun did was convence more programmers to adopt .NET.

Sun isn't very stable as a company since their stock is now JUNK_FLAG enabled. Hopefully 2B will help their stock, but Sun is famous for screwing that up.


Remember, if IBM wrote JAVA it would be called C++

This is a good deal - no Applets included (5, Interesting)

SoopahMan (706062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8746981)

An earlier post whined that Microsoft will not be shipping an updated JVM with Windows. That's a good thing:
  1. Applets are one of the worst technologies ever wrought on the Web. ActiveX is about as bad, and Push was bad but at least we didn't have to ever use it. If Applets will now be outdated too, maybe there will be less of them. This is good for Microsoft (less Java) and for Sun (less embarassing Java).

  2. JVMs change constantly. The JVM I write my app for is probably not the one you wrote yours for. Rarely do people deploy Java assuming it ought to run - they specify a JVM it's intended for, and often demand you install that JVM and point to it for their software. JVMs coexist very peacefully. The point is, there's no sense in Windows shipping with a JVM - you're just going to go around it with each Java product you install anyway.
Now, is this deal is actually good for both companies? Microsoft tends to make a very poor bed partner - they give you sweaty sheets for a few months and then throw everything you own out the window. Just look at how they've turned their backs on nVidia after the Xbox partnership - and Microsoft bashers can provide many more historical examples. Sun will need a very strong strategy that leverages the benefits of the combined technology beyond Microsoft's reach if they intend to gain from this - like the way nVidia used Microsoft's money to launch into the motherboard market.

good for Sun, good for Open Source (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8747009)

This is good for Sun and good for the open source community in general....

1. Sun can finally stop fighting a losing battle, and they actually get $2B - which is not an insignificant sum, no matter who is paying it. MS would not just fork over 2 BILLION dollars if they thought they could avoid it. I think Sun should get some credit for squeezing significant cash from that stone.

2. The details, which are still not clear, regarding the agreement to allow for better interop between Active Directory and the Identity server that Sun sells (which runs on Linux and Solaris) are pretty interesting. If MS is agreeing to make some of their proprietary interfaces and protocols available to Unix/Linux vendors then this gives Unix & Linux vendors a
way to use non-MS software and to Interoperate better with MS. Believe it or not, Slashdot karma whores, interoperating with MS and active directory is actually an important feature that large enterprises consider very carefully when evaluating servers and desktop solutions. Don't say "but, we have SAMBA!". SAMBA is a collossal hairball of ugly, unsupportable, indecipherable hacks on top of hacks and doesn't even come close to addressing many of the more useful features that AD offers.
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