Letter from Bob Muglia to Microsoft Customers.
Re: Sun v. Microsoft.

Date: August 18, 1998.
Source: Microsoft.

August 18, 1998

A note to Microsoft customers: I am often asked about Microsoft's intent with Java and why we are in the middle of a lawsuit with Sun over this technology. I recently had occasion to prepare a statement under oath for an upcoming hearing and thought it would be helpful to provide you with a copy of the statement so you can better understand Microsoft's position.

It is clear that the current litigation between Microsoft and Sun is harmful to customers who are trying to use Java in their business. Unfortunately, it appears that Sun is driven by a competitive focus on Microsoft that overshadows any concerns it may have about customers and the technology.

It saddens me that instead of helping customers, Sun chose to focus their energy in court. Alan Baratz and I created an agreement which could have allowed both companies and all of our customers to win. The agreement even contained a way to settle differences without court involvement. Microsoft has upheld that agreement in every way.

The agreement was grounded in the idea that Microsoft would create an implementation of Java that would be compatible with Java applets written to run on other platforms. In turn, Sun agreed that we could extend Java to allow programs written in the Java language to take advantage of Windows. The agreement empowered the Java development community to develop cross platform Java programs and create full Windows applications. The choice belonged to the developer.

Unfortunately, that is not what happened. I hope that this chronology allows you to better understand the sequence of events and that it helps as you consider future business decisions moving forward.

Bob Muglia