Sun Microsystems chief executive Scott McNealy said Microsoft forced court it into court action because it was scared by Java?s success and the threat its cross-compatibility poses to Windows.
In a keynote speech to European IT directors at the Gartner Group?s annual symposium in Cannes, McNealy said Microsoft laid the path to a court case over its Java licence by deliberately adding Windows-only APIs to the Java software included with its recent release of its Internet Explorer browser.
?Java was wildly successful and then they signed up to it - in fact it was so successful they had to sign up to it...it was so successful after they signed up to it they had to force us to take it to court and hope they get Judge Ito and Marsha Clarke and get off like O.J. Simpson,? said McNealy.
To loud applause, he slammed Microsoft?s claim that users were not interested in the potential for Java to run on all platforms irrespective of operating system or processor.
?I have not met anyone who has said they do not want 100 per cent cross-platform compatibility, [yet] Microsoft says its customers are saying they don?t,? he added.
He dismissed the idea that the dispute was purely over licensing fees.
?There?s more money falls out of his pocket into the crack in his car seat than we charge them for the Java licence,? he said.
If users wanted 100 per cent Java compatibility, McNealy said they should use the Navigator browser, do not buy Microsoft?s development tools and swamp Bill Gates? mailbox with emails telling him to get compatible.
According to McNealy, Java?s recent setback in gaining ISO standards approval was due to the negative vote of the US committee.
The votes of Microsoft and Intel, both of which had never previously bothered with the committee, managed to secure the one-third of votes required to stop approval for the meantime.
He said Java Foundation classes were due for release next Spring which ensure the write-once, run-anywhere feature of Java was fully operational and that they were working on significant performance improvements using the just-in-time (JIT) compiler.
Scott Winkler, Gartner Group?s senior analyst, said Java users should be realistic about the maximum speed of Java. ?It will never get faster than compiled applications but that does not mean it will not be popular. It may just get fast enough,? he said.
Winkler added that he expected Sun to make a major acquisition in the services arena at some point over the next three years, to improve its global service and support offering and to prevent its competitors improving their own portfolios.
McNealy said that Sun was looking to small acquisitions of consultancy and development companies as an easy way of increasing Sun?s own expertise.
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