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November 30, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Java author James Gosling is the next in line to take the stand at the Microsoft Corp antitrust trial this week. Gosling will testify for the US Government on Microsoft’s unofficial extensions to the Java language, viewed as illegal by Sun Microsystems Inc, the owner of the Java language, and currently the subject of separate court proceedings in California. Gosling will shift the focus of the trial away from monopoly economics back towards technology, and he is the first of three highly technical witnesses the Government plans to call. Following Gosling will come Dr Edward Felten, head of the Secure Internet Programming Group at Princeton University and author of the book Java Security. And then comes Dr David J Farber of the University of Pennsylvania, a well-known telecommunications guru who wrote DCS, one of the earliest distributed computing operating systems. Microsoft hopes to get the first say on Java matters early today, when Tod Nielsen, who leads Microsoft’s software development outreach efforts, will hold a press event discussing what it calls the government’s misguided accusations over Java. It plans to refute claims by the government – not yet made specific – that Microsoft used its operating system monopoly to try and undermine Java’s write-once run anywhere abilities, and will bring along Java developer Scot Wingo, vice president of Rogue Wave Software Inc’s Stingray division, to bolster its case. The government is expected to argue that, just as Microsoft attempted to quash the cross-platform potential of the browser by establishing its own browser as the de-facto standard, so it also attempted to establish Windows-specific extensions to Java that would only work with Microsoft operating systems. Sun recently won a temporary injunction against Microsoft over similar claims, though Microsoft dismissed that win as a contractual issue based on the complex language of our agreement and not relevant to any antitrust issues. Gosling wa s also called as a witness during those proceedings, and government lawyers are said to have subpoenaed evidence prepared for the earlier case. A written testimony from Gosling is expected to be released today in advance of his appearance. He now looks most likely to appear in court on Wednesday, as Microsoft’s lengthy cross-examination of the government’s economist witness, Frederick Warren-Boulton, had still not been concluded on Monday night. After that, government lawyers plan to follow up with redirect questions to Warren-Boulton. Following Gosling, Felten and Farber are expected to concentrate on operating system design issues. They will be followed onto the stand by William Harris, president of financial applications vendor Intuit Inc. Franklin Fisher, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be the government’s final witness.

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