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As Wall Street was expecting, Microsoft Corp has countersued Sun Microsystems Inc in the battle over Microsoft’s alleged breaking of the terms of its Java licensing agreement with Sun (CI No 3,274). Redmond now alleges that it’s the other way round: Sun has not stuck to its side of the bargain and has countersued for breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair competition. Sun wouldn’t say anything other than issue a prepared statement saying it expected Microsoft’s move and it changes nothing. Specifically, Microsoft alleges that Sun failed to provide its version of Java-on-Windows that passed the Java Compatibility Kit 1.1 (JCK) tests and conformed to Microsoft’s reference implementation. Under the terms of the agreement, Sun told Redmond that its version of Java-on-Windows would become the Windows reference implementation for Java, says Microsoft. Sun maintains it promised nothing of the sort and said so at the time of its suit. But there certainly is part of the contract that say Microsoft’s version will be considered the reference implementation for the Win32 platform. Microsoft also alleges that Sun should have made the tests themselves public as per the agreement. Lastly Microsoft said that Sun’s constant bad-mouthing of Microsoft, Windows and its Java effort in general has caused Redmond to allege that Sun has not treated it on an equal footing to other licensees and Sun’s repeated false statements about the compatibility and desirability of Microsoft’s products and Microsoft’s rights under the agreement. Sun’s statement reads: We fully expected Microsoft to file a countersuit. This a garden variety legal tactic. We won’t comment publicly on these allegations. We believe our suit has merit and makes our case very clearly and nothing has changed.

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CBR Staff Writer

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