Microsoft Suffers a Java Headache

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With the DOJ and states' attorneys general still hedging on a definitive declaration of intent to file suit against Microsoft this week, Sun was first out of the gate Tuesday with a request to forbid Microsoft to distribute Windows 98 unless it contains Sun's version of Java. Sun already has a lawsuit in progress against Microsoft for taking liberties with Java, an issue that has also atttracted the attention of the DOJ. But much remains in doubt at this point. The DOJ and the states -- whose number has grown from the 13 that originated the investigation -- are still widely expected to go ahead with their two separate lawsuits, but the substance of the suits is still an open question. Reports suggest that the DOJ may not attempt to block the release of Windows 98, whereas the states are apparently leaning toward that option. Microsoft is scheduled to ship Windows 98 to manufacturers on Friday.