Sun File Suit Against Microsoft for Antitrust Violations

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News: Sun File Suit Against Microsoft for Antitrust Violations

  1. Sun today announced it has filed a private antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation. The suit, filed in the United States District Court in San Jose, seeks remedies for the harm inflicted by Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior with respect to the Java platform and for damages resulting from Microsoft's illegal efforts to maintain and expand its monopoly power.

    Learn more about the Lawsuit here/.

    **Added March 11th***:
    Also see the latest article entitled Experts: Sun lawsuit reaches too far.

    Press Release
    ====================
    SANTA CLARA, CA -- March 8, 2002 -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it has filed a private antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation. The suit, filed in the United States District Court in San Jose, seeks remedies for the harm inflicted by Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior with respect to the Java[tm] platform and for damages resulting from Microsoft's illegal efforts to maintain and expand its monopoly power. In June 2001, the Federal Court of Appeals found Microsoft guilty of illegally abusing its monopoly power with respect to Sun and the Java platform. Sun's suit seeks redress for the competitive and economic harm caused by Microsoft's illegal acts.

    "After careful consideration, Sun filed this suit in order to uphold its fiduciary responsibilities to its shareholders and employees," said Michael Morris, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "This private antitrust lawsuit is intended to restore competition in the marketplace by removing unlawful barriers to the distribution of the Java platform and to interoperability between Microsoft software and competitive technologies. The achievement of these goals will allow for greater innovation and increased customer choice."

    In its complaint, Sun alleges that Microsoft has engaged in extensive anticompetitive conduct, including the following:

    Fragmenting the Java platform;
    Flooding the market with incompatible Java Runtime Environments;
    Forcing other companies to distribute or use products that are incompatible with Java;
    Significantly limiting Sun's distribution channels for the Java Runtime Environment;
    Intentionally interfering with the development of Java-based applications for compatible runtimes;
    Copyright infringement resulting from Microsoft's distribution of an unlicensed implementation of the Java Runtime Environment;
    Intentional creation of incompatibilities between Microsoft software and competing technologies, thereby raising switching costs for consumers and reducing consumer choice.
    Sun's filing points out that, in recent antitrust proceedings brought by the United States, 19 individual states and the District of Columbia, "Microsoft was held to have illegally maintained its monopoly over the market for Intel-compatible personal computer ("PC") operating systems by engaging in anticompetitive acts that impeded the distribution and/or use of alternative platforms that threatened Microsoft's monopoly, including Sun's Java platform."

    "While this suit is based on the past actions of Microsoft, Sun also believes that Microsoft's continuing practices in the marketplace represent a threat to lawful competition and the millions of developers who depend on the existence of an open software industry. This behavior manifests Microsoft's goal to use its monopoly position to turn the Internet into its proprietary platform. What is at stake here is the future of an open software industry and an open Internet," continued Morris.

    In its suit, Sun is seeking preliminary injunctions requiring Microsoft to:

    Distribute Sun's current binary implementation of the Java plug-in as part of Windows XP and Internet Explorer;
    Stop distribution of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine through separate downloads.
    Sun also is seeking a permanent injunction requiring Microsoft to disclose and license proprietary interfaces, protocols, and formats and to unbundle tied products, such as Internet Explorer, IIS web server, and the .Net framework. In addition to this, Sun's suit seeks treble damages as provided by law.

    For more information about this suit, visit http://www.sun.com/lawsuit.

    Mike Morris quotes available for broadcast media via satellite downlink at:

    Date: 03-08-02
    Time: 09:25 to 10:10 Pacific Time (9:25-9:45 test)
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    Polarity: Horizontal Down

    Audio phone number for Radio Stations:
    800-475-6701 access 630763
    About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- The Network Is The Computer[tm] -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to the nth. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com.


    Threaded Messages (61)

  2. There is already a lively discussion gfoing on over on Slashdot about this.

    Here are my views resposted:

     Sun sued MS because they attempted to change the Java Virtual Machine so that it would only work with code produced by MS J++. That was the problem. THe reason why the mS employees are so proud of the code is they were able to optimize UI...but those optimizations requre code to be writton on and for Windows only. That was why the forced them to stop bundling. If they produced a compatble JVM setup, Sun would be ecstatic. Code written on Windows using MS tools would run on Solaris. This would support Sun's big ticket items (E10000 et alles) and take advantage to the MS ownership of the Desktop. That would damage NT/W2K/XP server sales and the MS attempt to move up the chain.

    Also, well optimized Java code running on a well tuned JVM pushed out as a web application (Applet, Web Launch) would take market share away from MS only development platform code (VB/VC++) and allow people to write and distribute code easily around a big organization.

    Unlike MS, Sun is a Hardware developer. Everything they do is to support sales of Sun Hardware. Why Java? So you can write code that Runs on the Sparc as easily as possible. Why Open Source Open Office, NetBeans, make the Gnt Tools run on Solaris? So people buy Sparc.

    Personally, I think Sun made a mistake pulling the Solaris Source Code. If the advances made in Solaris ended up in the Sparc port of linux, more people could run Sun Hardware. But I digress...

    At this point I got accused of trolling. Here is a clarification of that last point.

    Sun Pulled the Solaris source code, I believe, to avoid other code bases gaining the benefit of Sun development. I think in the long term view, this in not a real problem, as it would have the additionaly benefit of making those platforms run on Sparc Architecture, and would increase Sun sales (And Sun Like mAchines, as well...those are the risks.)

    So, in the long run, how does Sun succeed? 1 Make the Best Hardware they can. 2 Get software that can run on Sun Hardware. Java is their attempt to do step 2. I'll let the Hardware Guys Argue Step 1, the they Seem to be doing well according to www.spec.org.
  3. This seems so reactionary on Sun's part ... My major concern at the moment is that so much of the Sun's Java strategy seems to be reactions to Microsoft, rather than real movements to drive the technology forward. Developments in Web Services are a good example of this issue. While IBM and Microsoft (among others) have been defining this area, Sun has largely ignored it.

    Having used VisualStudio.Net (I have the advantage of working in academia and get some free 'research' time), I can say that .Net is now ahead of Java not only in terms of technology, but particulary in development support. VisualStudio is quite outstanding. This is a fairly logical thing, as .Net has really borrowed heavily from the experiences in the Java world (and Java did, after all, do a similar thing in the 90s, buildung on and improving the existing technology of the time).

    The Java world can decry this technology as imitation or even flattery, but the simple truth remains that as a development platform it now stands ahead of Java, the tools are completely integrated and the ease-of-use is nothing short of extraordinary. Microsoft has learnt its lessons well, and now it is time for Sun to follow suit and really push forward.

    My own ideal would be for Sun to embrace Open Source and systems like JBoss as the logical alternative to the looming ubiquity of the Microsoft world. After all, it is hard for MS to compete on price (which is there standard strategy) when the entry into the Java platform is free!

    Sun (and the other Java vendors) could then leverage Open Source not only as a lower cost and more open entry-level into the Java platform, but as a funnel into the more lucrative commercial application server, support and service realms.



  4. <quote>
    This seems so reactionary on Sun's part ... My major concern at the moment is that so much of the Sun's Java strategy seems to be reactions to Microsoft, rather than real movements to drive the technology forward.
    </quote>

    Microsoft is a monopoly and it has been proven in court that MS engaged in unlawful practices to 'kill' competing technologies. From this point, it's very important that MS will not be able to do that in the future and that's what the Sun's lawsuit is about.
  5. Can you say rearranging the deck chairs? They have much bigger problems (Linux, IBM) than suing MSFT over something from two years ago.

    Sun should focus on how they're going to avoid the x86 standardization tsunami instead of this crud. Unless they find another way to transform themselves (ala Workstation -> server market in the late 80s), it's over. All that'll be left is JavaSoft making money.
  6. "Sun (and the other Java vendors) could then leverage Open Source not only as a lower cost and more open entry-level into the Java platform, but as a funnel into the more lucrative commercial application server, support and service realms."

    I'm not so sure your proposal of open source as the way out for Java. May be the opposite, making JavaSoft a really autonomous company that depends solely in the continuous market success of Java, would give this platform more chances to survive.

    On the other hand, I totally agree with your assessment of Visual Studio .NET, I insist in this point because as long as the Java commmunity doesn't recognize the current superiority of Visual Studio .NET it won't start to build a better solution (which no doubt could be created in Java).


  7. "I can say that .Net is now ahead of Java not only in terms of technology, but particulary in development support"

    While I would concede that Visual Studio .NET is a superior IDE, I would be interested to see what technical superiority you think .NET has?

  8. Unlike many others, I wouldn't say that .Net is a revolution, but it is certainly a evolutionary step forward ... so there are many things in the framework that represent in some cases a logical consoldiation of things we have in various form here in Javaland and there are also some new things as well.

    Things like the ability to have meta-data in code make deployment and configuration much easier. This is really an extension of the ideas inherent in tools like JavaDoc and XDoclet, but at a much more integrated level.

    Some of the ways that GUI controls are being applied to ASP are also very impressive, and remove a lot of the hassle of . There are a number of frameworks that achieve similar things in Java, but they are really external to the core envronment.

    The integration is a major factor, where in java we currently have a core language and then various extensions and libraries, MS has had the advantage of leveraging from the Java experience in building the framework from the ground up ... and it really shows in how neat the system is. Maybe in Java 3 we will get that same consolidation ...

    Anyway, I guess the major theme is really about integration and consolidation and this is apparent in Visual Studio itself, which handles a lot of the plumbing code of systems in a transparent way ...

    Enough ranting! Its 3am here and I still have a whole lot of (java) hacking to do!
  9. <quote>
    Things like the ability to have meta-data in code make deployment and configuration much easier. This is really an extension of the ideas inherent in tools like JavaDoc and XDoclet, but at a much more integrated level.
    </quote>

    Keep in mind that metadata has been popularized by Microsoft in 1995 with COM and the C/C++ extensions to their compiler.

    Of course, you can always find an even older predecessor (like #pragma), but the metadata mechanism that we know today (Javadoc's and CLR's) are clearly derived from COM.

    --
    Cedric

  10. Ha, Ha ,Ha
    cud see lots of MS nuts here. anyway, MS strategy is to pick up the latest technology, wrap up with their own new name and advertise ---->>.NET
    its always easy and simple to add new functionalities to existing one's and MS experts- very gud- doin that. ok lets talk about our kid. Sun shud really start thinking about advancements in java techn. whatever it may be, but shud be in market very soon.
  11. Although I do like some of the features of .NET/C# (e.g. Meta data, language agnostic kinda) I don't think it is so superior that Java is dead. SUN needs to steal the good stuff from M$oft, and even more importantly, look to the future. Why not look at the developments of true component based languages, as well as aspect oriented programming.

    Component-oriented languages make the distinction between
    messages and methods (interfaces and implementation) and modules and types (architecture and data). JGenerator is a tool that works on this model.

    Technology is always leapfrogging, so SUN needs to look for the next step, and Tool vendors need to come up with a competitor for VS.NET
  12. The Forte IDE, although is not the best one around, does help to get the job done. Have any of you tried JBuilder 6? It is a very nice tool as well.

    I still don't see why people are so crazy about IDE's. Give me vi and a compiler and I am good to go.
  13. D,

    I think you are right with your statement that we have to look to the future and SUN must take the best of .NET and some other technologies to make Java best of the breed.

    But I see one big advantage of Microsoft in the battle Java against .NET. They are decision makers. They take some technologies and then they are pushing them with alle their marketing and tool power into the market. And they are doing a great job.

    Look at the Entity Bean vs. JDO discussion or look how Sun wants to push their Jini stuff for WebServices...Microsoft take their "old" ADO and COM+ technologies and they are finished...

    So lets make some decisions at SUN and push Java with all the developer and Open Source power and by doing that, last but not least, kick Microsoft's ass...

    Mirko
  14. VisualStudio is quite outstanding


    Having listen a lot how the new VS.Net is very interesting from a developers perspective I have never been able to use it or read the reasons why it is so good. Could anyone that knows VS.Net plase elaborate a bit on the interesting features of VS.Net compared to say eclipse, ideaj or JDeveloper?

    Tiago
  15. I really pity for Sun :-(

    Sun is a great company that brought out Java ,J2EE etc & made Enterprise technologies feasible without Vendor Lock-in. Was there any big ROI for all their efforts ?? I don't think so ..

    Who was the real big benefitter of its efforts?
    a) IBM - Yes they had 'n' number of Architectures,H/Ws,S/W s& nothing can interact with another thing.. & Java came as a crusader to save them & tie all those pieces together.. Even Lotus notes is going to be on J2EE :-)
    b) BEA , ORACLE lots & lots of other folks..

    ( I agree that SUN alone didn't do all these great things.With its community process & with extraordinary efforts from IBM & other folks made it to happen )

    But SUN till now couldn't leverage any of those things.. None of its products are world-class ( Forte, iPlanet .. )

    I guess the only way it can earn money is through its J2EE licensing. And now every one wants SUN to give it free for JBoss :-( ( I am using JBoss & i luv it ) ).

    Once all these folks ( IBM , BEA ,ORACLE , FUJITSU etc ) got their enterprise tools built on J2EE they don't care on SUN. They join with M$ to define the strategies for Web-Services ( future of collaborative computing ). :-(

    Let me come back to M$ tools. I bet at any time no one in the world can produce tools better than M$. Noway !!!!
    Why is that .. Because it has..
    a) Large talented pool of engineers
    b) Enough funds to cross subsidize its products( Windows XP ~ $150 & XP Office ~ $600 )
    c) More Volumes / Less price strategy
    d) No worries of different platforms( even different versions of same OS.Just upgrade the OS with the so called "service pack" )etc etc .Better integration with native platform .
    e) A very big customer base ( I guess still the VB programmers are more than Java Programmers )

    I guess this won't change at all & Microsoft will lead the tools segment. Once it optimizes it Run-time & makes things to work on it ,then... No one can stop it....



  16. ....
    Once all these folks ( IBM , BEA ,ORACLE , FUJITSU etc ) got their enterprise tools built on J2EE they don't care on SUN. They join with M$ to define the strategies for Web-Services ( future of collaborative computing ). :-(
    ....

    Isn't this what capitalism is about ? You can call it business too :-)

    I'm a java guy and SUN deserves the credit for java and j2ee effort - no question about it. But they also need to keep making it better and better in order to compete with M$ and other technologies. In fact, M$ HAD to come up with .NET only because J2EE left behind their COM VB.

    So I believe it's a good thing that there is .NET. It just means that J2EE will get better and better. And if in order to compete SUN has to file a lawsuit against M$ ... well it's certainly an option too. Assuming the rule "who has more money to pay for attorneys wins" does not apply here :-)
  17. Isn't this what capitalism is about ? You can call it business too :-)


    I agree this is what is business :-(

    >> In fact, M$ HAD to come up with .NET only because J2EE left behind their COM VB.

    I perfectly agree with this.. :-)

    >> But they also need to keep making it better and better in order to compete with M$ and other technologies.

    As far as tools are concerned no one can never make this.Let me putforth my views with some math.

    Equation - I:

      100 people working on same task with a single "Vision" is always greater than 200 people of teams of 100 working on "n" number of tasks.

    This is the development status of "M$" tools Vs J2EE Vendor tools

    Equation - II:

    Any tool for Java Platform is built on Java ( Together,Magic draw, Jbuilder, OptmizeIt etc etc ) except a few exceptions. Each of these vendors are focussing on multiplatform & try to certify on different combinations.

    A conservative estimate..
    a) JDK1.2.X to JDK 1.4 ( atleast 4 stable releases )
    b) OS ( Windows NT,2K,Linux( Redhat etc ),Solaris ) ( aleast 5 )

    So these Products has to be tested in 4 X 5 combinations. i.e 20 different combinations !!!
    Now add on top of this the service packs & patches etc etc..
    So What i mean is, the whole focus & effort on Java applications is spent for Compatibility & Portability,whereas M$ channels the same on User Interactivity & easiness.....

    Equation III:
    Products built with a prime focus to confirm to Standardization or Specification will be always inferior to Product built without any such standardization in terms of User Friendliness.
    ( Take the example of HTML in IE & Netscape. IE gracefully allows to have incomplete HTML & still renders it with possible compromise whereas Netscape yells at you.. )


    In my opinion J2EE is itself in a very dilemmatic situation. On one side it has lure developers by giving really cool tools(nice UI, better response,etc ) that can do everything & on the other side they have to stick Java Vision (WORA ). I don't how these two ends will meet !!!


    Now let me get back to your earlier question..

    >> But they also need to keep making it better and better in order to compete with M$ and other technologies.

    Can SUN alone can make J2EE better ? No way .
    I don't think SUN can channel all its resources to build a still better J2EE environment. Becoz the market is getting saturated & products are getting commodized. So given this small market ( Compare this with M$ where this year expected XP license alone will be 75 Million ) it is going to be very tough & not worth for SUN to do this. Add to this the difference in opinion of SUN & IBM with Eclipse & FORTE ..

    let me just wait & watch...
  18. a) IBM - Yes they had 'n' number of Architectures,H/Ws,S/W

    >s& nothing can interact with another thing.. & Java came
    >as a crusader to save them & tie all those pieces
    >together.. Even Lotus notes is going to be on J2EE :-)

    Where do you get that from? According to their web site (http://www.lotus.com/developers/devbase.nsf/homedata/swgweb), Notes is being enabled for Web Services. No specific mention of J2EE...
  19. Where do you get that from? According to their web site (http://www.lotus.com/developers/devbase.nsf/homedata/swgweb), Notes is being enabled for Web Services. No specific mention of J2EE...


    I read it in news sites.. Anyhow i guess these links will do.

    http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2002/0128lotusdomino.html
    http://www.groupcomputing.com/dpmain.nsf/NewsNotes/33D17B81A60CA5FD87256B4F00781580?OpenDocument

    http://www.eweek.com/article/0,3658,s%253D1884%2526a%253D22112,00.asp

     

  20. Oops.. something went wrong. Please cut & copy the above URL in the Browser.
  21. Should anyone take this as serious?

    I'm not committed to MS in any way, but this lawsuit reads like a sarcastic short story about overpaid lawyers who write to get paid...

    The MS J++ suit has already been closed, so there's no need complaining about MS delivering an older JRE. Yet the funniest part is Sun's effort in MS disclosing proprietary protocols and unbundle server software. When will Sun blaim Red Hat packing Apache with the Linux distributions. And since there are efforts porting .net to Linux, can you really speek of a true proprietary protocol.

    Going further, I don't recognize any true Java platform, compared with platforms like Unix or Windows. The only platform Sun sells, is the Solaris platform, which they failed to place on Intel Machines at the proper time, since they had been focused to long on their SPARC architecture.

    This all makes me think that Sun is just scared of the effects of .net. Perhaps they should better act than complain about it.

    Markus
  22. Markus ...

    The suite isn't about Java licensing its about attempting to kill the widespread adoption of java through monopolistic practices as proved in court and later upheld by the US court of of appeals.

    You can't really blame them now MS and the DOJ are buddies, and Microsoft, a guilty monopolist is effectively free to do more of the same with the proposed settlement.

    Sun's attack on the MS proprietary protocols is basically an attack on the means through which Microsoft exerted its illegal monopoly power.

    If you don't recognise the Java platform then you're obviously on the wrong website :-).

    However I do agree that Sun is scared of .NET, and this is one way to try and neutralise it.

    Julian.
  23. I do agree with Sun. I am currently using Win XP. I face many problems when I open a browser containing Applets e.g http://www.java.sun.com or http://www.globalleafs.com. The entire operating system goes blinking and me as a Java Developer will definitely not like this act of MS. I do not have any problems in using Applets with Win Me.

    Uma
  24. dump the IE use Opera instead...its free, doesnt flood the taskbar with browser windows, flexible (offers download manager-like functionalities, etc) and its fast. Its also quite compatible with Java Plug-ins. After you are comfortable with it you might forget IE even existed.


  25. There seems to be a fair amount of anti-Sun sentiment here -Sun is often seen as the only company whining about Microsoft.

    The one thing that you have to remember is that Sun is the only large company in the software/hardware industry that are completely independant of Microsoft. They are the only company that CAN file a lawsuit. IBM, HP/Compaq, etc etc all have large parts of their business that are very dependant on Microsoft. There is no way that these companies could file a lawsuit without an immediate impact on their business.

    So, while Sun is so often the visible oponent to Microsoft on so many fronts, I am sure that they have a very large backing from the rest of industry. Its just that the rest of the industry cant afford to publicly show this (all the more reason for concern, perhaps).

    There also seems to be some sentiment here that Sun is engaging Microsoft to cover up for the fact that their technology is lagging behind Microsoft.net. The extemely over-hyped "Web Services" euphoria is repeatedly drawn as an example.

    "Web Services" are painted over and over again as the silver bullet. They are just-another-technology. Despite the fact that, though immature, they do promise some benefit in the area of low-level integration, I think it is very wrong to use "web services" as a benchmark for comparing the technological platforms. Web Services, although useful, have yet to prove themselves worthy of their more-than-generous hype. Of many of the promised "benefits" of web services, J2EE already has superior answers.

    An anti-Microsoft cynic would argue that "web services" are a clever ploy to distract the non-M$ companies into wasting resources rather than concentrating on other more important issues. Perhaps there is some truth in this...

    I hope that someone (in this case, Sun) continues to attempt to "keep Microsoft honest" - its evident the US govt either cant or arent willing to.
    Though, in this case, I hope that Sun dont lose site of the bigger picture. Java/J2EE is already a superior technology in so many respects - I just hope that the quality of the development environments improve to be on par with VS.NET.

  26. Another nuisance lawsuit.[ Go to top ]

    Sigh! If only sun would spend their money on developers instead of lawyerrs... They could use that money to
    -Build a faster, cheaper,better alternative to Swing/awt.
    -Build better IDE's and development tools instead of the miserable Forte IDE.
    -A million other things to make developers life easy.
    Don't they just get it? People will use tools which are easier to use and much more comfortable to develop in.
    If .Net proves itself easier to use and develop in then the so called portability and scalability be damned .Net is the tool the developrs will use.
    No lawsuit is going to get them new developers. They should stop whining and get back to do some real work.
    I am not a microsoft fan here. I do use Java/Java technologies at work. I just find it sad that sun is behaving like a moron.
  27. Another nuisance lawsuit.[ Go to top ]


    Do you think Sun is the only company with grounds for a legal suit against Microsoft?

  28. Another nuisance lawsuit.[ Go to top ]

    "Build better IDE's and development tools instead of the miserable Forte IDE."

    go eclipse
    www.eclipse.org
  29. I hope Sun and friends will realize that Microsoft is trying to change the rules of the game and define a new battle field.
    We all know that J2EE is a de facto standard now and hardly MS can ever crack J2EE's popularity. So think about it, if you were in place of MS what would you do? I would base the future on my strengths, and what's MS's stength? Well, client side. So MS is endorsing WebServices and complaining that browser-based GUI is like old dumb terminals and boring, and though currently .Net WinForms seems to be MS's client side GUI framework (which is not much different from old Win32 stuff) I've heard that they are working on a totally new GUI framework which is going to be complete managed C# code and the cool thing about it is that it's going to make mixing html/document-oriented screens and GUI controls a lot easier and totally integrated. So they will release this thing, and convince companies to use it because anyway you can connect from .Net to java web services, but then step by step and by adding goodies which make your life easier in dealing with fat-clients you'll start using .Net on server side too! You know, J2EE really sucks for fat-client development.

    What you guys think about this theory?

    Ara.
  30. I like your line of thinking Ara. Client-side Java is almost dead, with things like applets being victims of their own security strengths. M$ will certainly gain a great advantage if it can integrate a richer client into the whole web experience via the browser.
    The problem is without support from M$, it's not going to be possible to make fatter clients in Java.
  31. -------------------------------------------------------
    >Client-side Java is almost dead, with things like applets >being victims of their own security strengths. M$ will >certainly gain a great advantage if it can integrate a >richer client into the whole web experience via the >browser.
    >The problem is without support from M$, it's not going to >be possible to make fatter clients in Java.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Sadly Sun had plenty of time to improve/change the UI part. But I guess they were caught up with Java on the server side. That's what got them revenue(more J2EE apps=more Sun boxes to sell).
    I agree M$ does come in from a position of strength for .Net. I guess Sun just realised that .Net is a bigger deal than they thought it would be, hence the attack with a lawsuit.
  32. "I still don't see why people are so crazy about IDE's. Give me vi and a compiler and I am good to go."

    I think that about sums up the miserable state of the Java IDE market. When vi is actually better then the IDE's the Java market puts out, you have disproven your own assertion. Id get an eval copy of VS.NET and see how badly the Java vendors blew the tools market.

    M
  33. I have to agree. For example, Visual Cafe is almost as good as the Visual C++ was about 5 years ago.

    Sun needs to face the music give up on running Java on the client side. There's nothing wrong with Java per se; the mistake is trying to smother OS differences in a grand layer of abstraction. People have been trying to do that for many years, and it simply won't work well. No matter what happens, your portability layer ends up re-implementing pieces of the OS's GUI code, resulting in a messy, slow, buggy UI that is totally inconsistent with the user's expectations. For example, a Windows or Mac user knows how a file dialog usually works and has to learn how to use it only once. When that Java beast comes up, you suddenly have a pointless source of irritation and a new set of skills to learn.
  34. <quote>
    For example, Visual Cafe is almost as good as the Visual C++ was about 5 years ago.
    Sun needs to face the music give up on running Java on the client side.
    </quote>

    I would question that your knowledge of the subject. Visual Cafe is mostly C++ code, if you do not like how VC works that's too bad but it's not a java app. I'm running java client app (IDE in this case) every day and do not share your disappointment.

    <quote>
    For example, a Windows or Mac user knows how a file dialog usually works and has to learn how to use it only once. When that Java beast comes up, you suddenly have a pointless source of irritation and a new set of skills to learn.
    </quote>

    I'd say it's a bad example. File selection dialog in java works pretty much the same as in Widnows. There are couple of small differences but it definitely does not qualify as "a new set of skills to learn". IMO, that's a very small price to pay comparing to supporting different versions for different platforms.

    When it comes to .Net, most of the noise appears to be created by MS employees who are very active on this forum. Why? I can only guess that .net is not doing well, which seems to be the case based on my experience.

    My $.02
  35. <quote>I would question that your knowledge of the subject. Visual Cafe is mostly C++ code, if you do not like how VC works that's too bad but it's not a java app.</quote>

    I was aware of that, so no need to question my knowledge. BEA, IBM, HP, ATG, Borland, etc. should get together, contribute $4 million apiece, and produce some high-quality development tools. BEA had the right idea when they started WebGain, but the unhappy result has been a company that produces Oldsmobile-quality products at BMW prices.

    <quote>I'd say it's a bad example. File selection dialog in java works pretty much the same as in Widnows.</quote>

    Well, we could go on and on about details, but I still believe that it's pointless and unrealistic to try to write one single class hierarchy that encapsulates a wide range of operating systems. It's like a perpetual-motion machine: even when it's 95% efficient, the end result is something that doesn't work.
  36. Some of the arguments Im hearing on this thread are preposterous. The allegations that there isnt a good IDE for Java are beyond belief. The best IDE that I have EVER used in 18 years of programming on ANY language is Together Control Center. Now that I have it, I cant immagine how I made do without it. What doest it do ? GUI generation. GOOD.

    Programmers today have gotten lazy and a bit stupid. They fire up the RAD tools and then complain about performance. Rediculous. They havent even looked at half the code in the GUI but instead they blame Java. I hate to break it to you guys, but your Java performance problems are about 95% programmer error.

    Microsoft has been and always will be the single most unethical organization on the planet. I put Microsoft up there with crime sindicates and Gates as the mob boss. They have muscled every single compeditor out the door with illegal tactics and even managed to weasel their way out of the DOJ lawsuit. They think they are above the law and history seems to support their belief. Microsoft needs to be broken up. Its as simple as that. Jackson had it right on the ball.

    What I assume happened behind the scenes is that microsoft had some license with the government requiring renewal yearly or something and that they said "if you try to break us up we will revoke all windows licenses for every government computer." I can think of no other avenue that the DOJ suit could come to such a preposterous conclusion.

    You can take .NET and stack it on the heap of NON-java compeditors. .NET is Microsoft only. If you thing microsoft is going to consent to offering it on Linux, and hurt its server side OS sales, think again. If you want to strand yourself in Microsoft, by all means go for .NET and have fun with it. The rest of us that want to have choice will hang around with java.

    What Sun needs to do with Java, especially the Java code in the SDK that you get in the src package, is release it to Open Source by means of a committee. In this manner java would suddenly acquire several thousand programmers and leave Microsoft in the dust. As long as Microsoft is allowed to be above the law, Open Source is the only thing that can challenge them.

    Linux is constantly gaining ground against Microsoft and I find it hillarious. Microsoft cant do a damn thing about it. They have no target to put out of business. If they drop one little Linux based company, 5 more spring up. The hydra revisited.

    We have two choices in the technology sector. Fight Microsoft or see Bill Gates as president, congress and legal system. Microsoft wants to conquer the world and own everything. I say, "Ra RA SUN! Kick em down and then kick 'em some more."

  37. > I like your line of thinking Ara. Client-side Java is
    > almost dead, with things like applets being victims of
    > their own security strengths. M$ will certainly gain a
    > great advantage if it can integrate a richer client into
    > the whole web experience via the browser.
    > The problem is without support from M$, it's not going to
    > be possible to make fatter clients in Java.

    Is Java on the client side dead? I think that JNLP technologies like JavaWebstart are far ahead of M$ technologies in being able to deliver rich-functionality clients to the desktop (without SMS drops!).

    Firstly, I dont agree that a richer browser experience is necessarily the right way of looking at things. I think that it is conceptually wrong to try and re-create the functionality of the desktop inside the browser. I have seen a bunch of javascript libraries that try to do this and they are generally a waste of time. M$ ActiveX alternative is very sensitive to which version of IE you have (let alone other browsers or other operating systems).

    With regard to Java on the client - Swing in particular: Without doubt, Swing is a far better programming model (for producing clean, reliable, maintainable code, quickly) than either Win32, .net (just a wrapper over win32 in the case of GUI) or IBM's SWT (at least at first glance).

    The problem with Swing is/has been:
    1) Performance. Re-draw is slow and tends to consume a lot of RAM. While true, I understand that this has been improved a lot in JDK1.4. My (very unscientific) observations so far have been that there is a noticeable difference.

    2) Look and feel. Here, the native l&f of swing has always been pretty shitty - and the Java Community ought to do something about it other than whining about Sun. BEA's l&f they developed for their cajun stuff is nice - perhaps they should donate it to Java Swing.

    3) Integration with the desktop. This does lie in Sun's court. Simple things like native keystroke mapping SHOULD be implemented (e.g. ESC cancels a menu selection)
    (mousewheel & drag&drop now in JDK 1.4, no?)

    The trade-off is the ability to deliver functionality VS performance and look and feel. I know of one major european bank that have chosen Java Swing as a standard for their client-side. Not for the performance or appearance - but for the ability to deliver maintainable software efficiently that integrates well with their server-side.

  38. Guys, I just started reading about webservices and i wanted to know , is there anything equivalent to 'WEBSERVICES' which is from Sun side. I also wonder when MS is able to rename JAVA as C#, y not Sun adopt this webservices. is there anything which stops Sun from doin so. correct me if i am wrong!
  39. What ever Ara,

    You must be smoking something. What where and how do you define J2EE as the defacto standard...bah!

    Maybe the defacto standard at presenting 3rd Party products that make small compaines go bankrupt. I have seen more companies oversold on J2EE than I can shake a stick at. And the Java Vendors are all ripping companies off. I know for a fact that at 15K a cpu for an application server, and 10K a cpu for a RDBMS data mapping tool, and then an untold 100K for a DataBase. Get the picture.

    Now it appears than that the certain "defacto" standard has jepordized the way business think about Java now does'nt it?

    Open source is Java's only prayer now. JDO is a poor cusiand to ObjectSpaces from Microsoft.

    I see hope for Java in the future delusion of Microsoft. As soon as the CLR gets fully ported over to FreeBSD and you can buy an OS that runs the CLR for dirt cheap. I'm excited about that.

    XJava
  40. On web services.

    Currently they are mostly hype and little substance. A specification and technology that promises to solve all of your problems, deliver everything for free, and even find you a better girlfriend. Be cautious.

    On Java on the client side:

    Its alive and well. I have a swing GUI that runs like lightning on windows and linux. Being a gui for a genetic research company, its no lightweight. There are "technically" thousands of panels in it. I say "technically" because we arent stupid enough to write every panel static. Since GUI builder tools are forbidden in my department, my developers actually know how to write them. The GUI resembles an exceedingly elegant cross between reflection and Swing. Its basically beautiful.

    Developers need to put away the rad tools and actually learn what they are slinging.

  41. Sun will be charging Windows version StarOffice in a month. What will be the next thing to be removed from the table of FREE? Keep in mind, Sun was losing money in the past 3 qts. Sun has a boss called "Wall Street", agree? In nature, $un = M$. None of them is God!
  42. I'm really confused by this action:

    Sun sued MS for modifying Java, and MS was forced to stop the practice of modifying Java and then halt distribution of the Java JRE in it's modified form. MS responded by removing the Java JRE from the platform - basically the resolution that Sun wanted. MS payed a fine to Sun. So how can they argue now that it's still an open issue?

    Can anyone explain this in terms of legality?

    To me, it seems like Sun sued MS but didn't see the end game of MS removing the Java JRE.

    Sun seems stuck between a rock and a hard place: they don't make substantial revenue from Java, but it is no longer pushing people toward buying Sun hardware.

    In terms of strategy, they seem lost. They definitely need to innovate. History has shown, to date, that battling MS in court is generally a waste of time because they drag it out for years and continue to push their technology forward. Even the government has trouble getting anything out of them.
  43. The writing is on the wall at SUN -- even the senior management at SUN knows. Have you seen how much stock they've been dumping lately? This is just another ploy by SUN to keep up. Why inovate when you can litigate?
  44. The Sun and Microsoft battle is over Java, not J2EE.

    Microsoft has had a history of easy development tools, but bad runtimes. It took a while for the industry to figure it out as the market became flooded with VB developers. From my understanding, a C# object in the MS runtime translates eventually into a COM or COM+ object, we just have web services to access the same shaky implementation.

    What stinks is the Sun Name is getting all the credit for Java and J2EE. So they see FORTE/iPlanet vs. Visual Studio/.NET

    Let's be real, J2EE is IBM, BEA, etc..., Sun just has the name, they are pushing JINI because they really don't have a solid or well marketted J2EE platform. If we compare the products from IBM (Eclipse, WebSphere, Web Services, WSAD, MQ, ) and BEA (WLS, Cajun, etc...) with .NET, Microsoft does not have much of an advantage, especially at runtime.
  45. Everyone here is questioning IDE's here, and they are important, however, hardly anyone is comparing the runtime environments. Applications spend more time in production than in development.

    It may be when developing an architecture, a Microsoft GUI in a browser needs to call a backend EJB running on a Mainframe or UNIX platform. I don't see a huge advantage that microsoft has on the server end.

    Some J2EE products will be more difficult on the server side because .NET does not offer a solution for persitence like Entity Beans (in which I can distribute my data on multiple nodes for performance).

    On the client side, Java never really competed with GUI development on the front end on the Microsoft platforms. However, in the days of the web applications that need to be open to mobile devises, GUIs are becoming less important.

    If I am doing GUI development in Java, I can use VAJ to easily do drag and drop functionality. If I am doing J2EE development with database mappings I can use WSAD. If I need to model workflow, MQSeries Integrator or Workflow has easy to use drag and drop functioanlity.

    There are now plenty of mature tools in the Java World to solve real world problems (Rule Engines, Portals, Workflow Engine, XML solutions work in Java and .NET, Integration Servers, Commerce servers, Message listeners, etc...)

    Im sure Microsoft has a sub set of initiatives for all the above scenarios, but I think it will be a while before their solutions mature.

    If I need to integrate different platforms with different legacy systems running different applications, I would hope that XML Web Services is not my only option to get out of .NET.

    I don't know why the IDE is being targeted here on a thread for a lawsuit that has to do with the runtime. This is about the browser being able to understand applets, however most new Java apps are really being developed on the server that is not on Windows.

    I would have to say if MS is throwing .NET for free on servers, many companies will go with the free solutions. However, for high volume enterprise applications, Microsoft servers have alot to prove.
  46. <quote>
    Everyone here is questioning IDE's here, and they are important, however, hardly anyone is comparing the runtime environments. Applications spend more time in production than in development.
    </quote>

    Many of us here are developers so I guess we focus less on production and more on development.

    My favourite J2EE dev environment is vi and ant so I am no IDE guru. However when I played around with Visual Studio the other day I was impressed by its completeness. For a week my lack of knowledge on .NET and IIS meant I had no idea of how to do a System.out.println equivillent. It made no difference 'cause to see what was going on all I needed to know was F9 and F5. The debugger just worked. No fancy configuration required. No endless wait whilst memory was swapped to disk as some debugger was forced into memory. No restarting the app server with some weird parameter.

    Not saying this isn't possible with some of our J2EE tools. Just saying that it works quite well out of the box for the .NET guys.

    Quentin
  47. Agreed, from our point of view, development toolsa re important. Being able to put a product out fast is important these days.

    Tools for rapid development exist on both platforms, and all of us can go back forth on features and be right.

    This lawsuit though is about running Java on XP and IE at runtime.

    I can comparing Swing to VB, and VB will be more solid. VB was always easier. People started using VB, instead of ATL, to develop MTS objects. This became popular because it was easy to do. But when we put web volume on it we could not handle the load on windows, MTS, and COM objects. Eventually this market died out and people spent lots of money replacing it.

    We can compare Web Services, and we can fight between IBM and Microsoft, but these front end applications need to access back end application. Web Services need actual implementations backing them.

    What does a Microsoft web service access? A COM/COM+ Object. C# objects still translates into a COM object when I run it through its VM. That is why I can access them in C++. I haven't seen any literature (If someone can provide me any) on what .NET has done to improve implementation of server objects, not just access to them. .NET just wrapped there DCE/COM/COM+/DNA with .NET.
  48. C# objects still translates into a COM object when I run it through its VM.


    You said this earlier in this discussion as well, and it quite simply not true. The runtime runs completely sperately to COM. .Net is not simply wrappers around COM, but an entirely new riuntime, typing system and class framework ... and has has been repeated ad-nauseum it borrows very heavily from the principles of Java.

    You can access your Components from C++ because C++ now runs in the Common Language Runtime as well. There are a number of mechanisms for accessing old-school COM (called 'unmanaged code') from the .Net runtime, and for many .Net developers this is a major issue as there is much legacy code residing in COM.

    The lawsuit is not about running Java on XP and IE at runtime, that is one of the injunctions that Sun is seeking, the lawsuit alleges that Microsoft is a monopoly that has abused its position.

  49. >> You can access your Components from C++ because C++ now
    >> runs in the Common Language Runtime as well.

    Not ANSI C++. You have to use C++.net (managed C++) - which still uses some of the C++ syntax - but is missing a lot of C++ functionality. Its not like your existing C++ will seemlessly integrate.
    I am sure that you probably know this.. but just in case others get the wrong picture...


  50. This is my opinion on this subject matter.

    What i think are the ways in order for java to stay on top are:

    1. Sun architects on java should reduce their being so computer scientists and add a little of being businessmen( customer-friendly). Instead of trying to create 100% sound, scalable and flexible try creating just 80% of it, add the 20% on user-friendliness and ease-of-use, coz what ultimately matters are the developers( users in this case) Do i have to site why nokia came on top on the mobile-phone wars?

    2. Copy or mimic others' innovations( and improve..). This may sound bad but it is the way this industry works. MS had been practicing this, the browser, the instant messenger, the mp3 player, the text editor/office suite, even the c++.
    Remember their credo on xml, "embrace and extend" (and bundle??? i guess)?

    3. Provide better tech support (MS does it better) and please!!!!....update the java tutorial and make it better! this is the first step for an aspiring java programmer.


    ill think of some more

    more power!
  51. "Instead of trying to create 100% sound, scalable and flexible try creating just 80% of it, add the 20% on user-friendliness and ease-of-use, coz what ultimately matters are the developers( users in this case) "

    First off, Java's main strength is its portability, remember the "copile once, run anywhere" moto? Anyways, I don't even understand why people talk about user-friendliness for a programming language... The IDE can be user-friendly, but that as nothing to do with the language itself... Have you ever tried putting in place a VB application using notepad? Finally, we all know that developers usually don't matter at all! I mean, we use whatever tools are available at work, and most of the time managers who never wrote a line of code decide which one to use, which might explain why VisualAge for Java is so widely used... And for the programming we do outside of work, well I don't know about you, but I'll always take whatever I can get for free...( Have you tried JBuilder6 yet? ;-) ) Of course, all the work I do at home is on Linux, so it would be difficult to use MS's stuff right? ;-)

  52. "Anyways, I don't even understand why people talk about user-friendliness for a programming language... The IDE can be user-friendly, but that as nothing to do with the language itself..."

    I was not talking about any ides, i was talking about how it the java api is becoming complicated by the day. Yes there is the documentation but looking at the documentation doesn't teach you instantly how to use it. I was also talking about how complex some things are in java. Example is the SWING ( including its layout). I just hope the architects can find much simpler models. Also in my opinion, the ease of using an IDE can hide away the complexity of the programming language but to use an ide u still need to have a background knowledge of some concepts.
    Would it not be great if we can combine a simpler programming model and a user-friendly ide? i guess thats how VB attracted many developers...


    "Finally, we all know that developers usually don't matter at all! I mean, we use whatever tools are available at work, and most of the time managers who never wrote a line of code decide which one to use"

    Developers does matter! Of course managers decide on which one to use but the greatest decision factors is the feasibility of what is gonna be done ( i quess this should apply to all objectives)the skill set needed, the time frame, the proper tools, resources, etc. Developers should have the skill set, it make the time frame shorter, the tools comes with the skill set of course, the developer is the most important resource..need to say more. This are all evaluated by the managers.

    "Of course, all the work I do at home is on Linux, so it would be difficult to use MS's stuff right? ;-)"

    I develop on Win2k with ultraedit or jcreator and ive tried jbuilder 5 ( i still dont do user-interfaces :-) ) and deploy on solaris or linux (thats why i believe in portability)

  53. About the complexity of the APIs, well what can I say, if you think swing is too complex I guess you should stick to VB... The thing is, the more you want to be able to do, the more complex the APIs will get. I don't think there's a way around that. If you reduce the complexity, you also reduce the possibilities...

    As for the importance of the developers, all I can say is how many times did you see a job description requiring at least X years of experience with Visual Age? In a small company that hasn't started coding yet, you can pretty much ask to use any tools you want. But if the company has been using the same set of tools for years, they will require new employees to have the skills for the tools they have, not change the tools to fit with new employees...

    And finally, about using UltraEdit, the only advantage I see about JBuilder is the code-insight feature... Well, like other IDEs, it also helps to quickly do your layout before you start coding, but that's about the same for any IDEs I guess... But typing a dot after your variable name and getting a list of available methods, that's pretty usefull, this way I don't have to go back to those javadocs all the time...
  54. visualize a project to be done that can be achieved with Java or the .NET, if there are 100 java-capable programmers and u have 1000 .NET-capable programmers...What is the probability of that project being implemented in java or .NET? What im pointing out is that those concerned should make java easier and help programmers start up and running fast. It definitely wont hurt if we can just make java a little easier to use, right?

    As for the complexity/capability tradeoff, you are quite right, it the same issue as the mem/speed tradeoff issue. and if we just accept things right off without even investigating or trying, then hell we may as well forget about optimizations.

    I am not a microsoftie...but i've always admired the way MS has responded to challenges...(some may even be illegal but thats up to the court) i hope sun and its supporters respond just as well or better...
  55. This post was too rich for me to ignore. =)

    "visualize a project to be done that can be achieved with Java or the .NET, if there are 100 java-capable programmers and u have 1000 .NET-capable programmers...What is the probability of that project being implemented in java or .NET?"

    In Java, the chances are directly porportional to the chances that the company has a decent attorney. The .NET license grants microsoft full access to resell, distribute, vend, reverse engineer or otherwise steal your products. That just wont fly with most companies. Second of all, companies putting up a web page might be duped by .NET. However, companies doing N-Tier disributed applications that have programmers worth their salary will avoid .NET like the plague.

    " What im pointing out is that those concerned should make java easier and help programmers start up and running fast. It definitely wont hurt if we can just make java a little easier to use, right? "

    Java is very easy. What are you smoking ? I compare it to C++ and assmebly and other languages and it is downright kid-proof. Java is only difficult if you are a Non-programmer. Otherwise it is cake to learn.

    "As for the complexity/capability tradeoff, you are quite right, it the same issue as the mem/speed tradeoff issue. and if we just accept things right off without even investigating or trying, then hell we may as well forget about optimizations. "

    Which just proves you arent a programmer but a glorified script hacker. Noone on my staff would dare suggest we accept things as they are and forget about optimizations.

    "I am not a microsoftie"

    Yes you are.

    "...but i've always admired the way MS has responded to challenges..."

    Theft, anti-compeditive practices, fraud, intimidation and racketeering impress you ?

    "(some may even be illegal but thats up to the court)"

    Oh, its up to the court is it ? Hell, they obviously threatened the court; judging by the way the court did a sudden u-uturn. The only monopoly in history to not get broken up. So Ethics are just an inconvenience to you? Even if we discount the legal issue, Microsoft has broken enough ethical rulesto rank it up there with organized crime. I wonder if employees as MS have to call Bill Gates "Boss Gates?"

    " i hope sun and its supporters respond just as well or better... "

    Well, I would hope that most of us are more ethical than that. Listen man, go back to VB and making cute little excel spreadsheets and web pages and leave the real software engineering to the professionals please.
  56. Couldn't agree more, Java is pretty easy and straightforward to use, if you don't agree, try something like LISP... ;-) The problem is, people today want to take a 2 hour online course on programming and start building enterprise applications by clicking on a maximum of 4 buttons without having to touch that dreaded keyboard... But have you ever tried changing the code those damned button generated to actually get it to do what you want?!? I don't recommend it...

    Anyways, the real reason of this reply is about the following comment:

    "The .NET license grants microsoft full access to resell, distribute, vend, reverse engineer or otherwise steal your products."

    Of course, I have never looked at a .net license in my life, but how do they get such access? Is it some kind of backdoor in .net or just some legal text? In any case it's not acceptable if you ask me, but if they can actually get the product's code without even having to ask for it, I see a real issue here!
  57. How can u show ethics if you go on attacking someone over some constructive opinions? I can see u got such anti-MS sentiment such as i but lets just evaluate things as objectively as possible.k?

    Let us just strive for the better or for the best. Java started quite good, not unlike the Windows OS some time ago but it did got better and i bet it will get better and better, so lets do the same for java. We cant sit and be contented with what is. We have to find ways to lure developers and managers to better computing.

    Peace :)
  58. Oh I agree wholeheartedly that java needs to improve. I am one of those that think Sun should head a supervisory comittee of cross platform and product experts in deciding the future of java. Rather like the OMG.

    As for attracting people, I have to express dismay. Programmers, the real ones, need not be attracted to java. They merely need to write a couple things in java to go "oh yeah! This is good." Attracting people to java is only needed if the people arent programmers to begin with. Those people I would rather not have. Let them stick to dropping buttons on a canvas and hitting "go" in their VB ide.

    And for the guy talkign about modifying button code, you wil be happy to know that GUI builders are the one tool off limits to my staff. =)

  59. well, at least we have agreed on some points :)

    The thing about the 'REAL Programmers' is mostly correct but we must give some credit to the hype that has helped propel java to the mainstream...
  60. just forgot something...jcreator has a code completion to...and its a really cool feature. but i think you still need to look at the docs most of the time...
  61. Uhh ... Swing is not that complex. Actually it is rather well constructed. If you dont have the ability to learn it in a flash then perhaps you should consider a carreer change.

    Programing languages are not supposed to be "user friendly" They are supposed to be powerful and accurate and robust and rich and fast. You seem to be attributing the same priorities to java that one might to Microsoft Word. That just makrs you as a non-developer. One that shouldnt go anywhere near java. Go play with VB and leave java coding to those that can grasp the concepts please.

    I have 7 devs doing swing for me. Not one of them finds it in the least inflated or overly complicated. Most of them spout swing code like nothing. Half our interface doesnt even exist, its generated on the fly. Why ? Cause I have lots of people including 4 junior devs that are swing experts.

  62. Lets see ... first Sun sued Microsoft for including Java with windows... now they are suing because they don't .... very interesting (yes I realize that this is a bit overly simplified but it does capture the gist of it).

    Way back when when I was in finance the best credit manager I ever had had many heuristics to help him guide his decisions... one of them was to be very careful of firms that relied on litigation to try and get ANYTHING that they could not get by other means (market penetration, analyst news coverage, pennies from chumps...). that Sun could be embarking on a course that will require a decade or more of resources without any certain beneficial outcome I become concerned that they are now past there relevance stage and grasping .... but have already lost their grip