Microsoft to depose Java creator

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rules that Microsoft can depose James Gosling, a Sun executive and one of Java's creators.

WASHINGTON--U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson this morning granted a request by Microsoft to allow one of its in-house attorneys to depose Sun Microsystems' executive James Gosling in the Microsoft antitrust trial.

Sun had opposed the motion, saying that Microsoft associate general counsel Tom Burt, who will conduct the deposition, is a high-ranking Microsoft executive too close to the formulation of his company's competitive strategy.

Sun argued earlier this month that allowing the Gosling deposition would violate a protective order in the case that prevents companies from learning the trade secrets of competitors.

Gosling is credited with creating the Java programming language. One of the advantages of Java technology--that See related story:
Microsoft's holy war on Java applications written in the language can run on any computing platform--has the potential to undermine Microsoft's operating system dominance.

In a separate lawsuit, Sun has sued Microsoft for breach of contract in its license of the Java language.

Later this morning, AOL senior vice president David Colburn is expected to retake the stand.

Yesterday, Colburn provided seemingly damaging testimony on how Microsoft strong-armed AOL into using Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser by giving the online giant an offer it could not refuse: distribution on Windows 95.

According to Colburn, the offer prohibited the online service from promoting Netscape Communications' Navigator Web browser.