Microsoft to add Java support to Windows XP

Microsoft Corp. is making its Java Virtual Machine (JVM) a standard part of Windows XP in an attempt to clear a legal dispute with rival Sun Microsystems Inc., Microsoft said Tuesday.

The JVM is software that allows users to run applications written in Java, the programming language created by Sun. Windows XP shipped without Java support, instead offering a download-on-demand feature whereby the JVM was automatically downloaded when Windows needed it, Microsoft said.

Sun filed a private federal antitrust suit against Microsoft in March, accusing the software maker of using its monopoly in the market for PC operating systems to undermine the success of Java. In response, Microsoft is now adding Java to XP, said Jim Cullinan, a Microsoft spokesman in Redmond, Washington.

"In order to remove this legal issue, we are no longer going to offer the download feature but instead make JVM part of the default installation of XP through Service Pack 1 that will be available" in the second half of this year, said Cullinan.

However, JVM has not won a permanent spot in Windows. From January 2004 Microsoft won't be allowed to change any of the code in its JVM, because of an agreement with Sun, Cullinan said.

"Therefore we will no longer offer Java in Windows from January of 2004," he said.

Sun offers its own JVM for Windows XP.

Sun was not immediately available for comment.

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