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Sun proffers free Java for XP

The software maker, aiming to deliver "the best interactive user experience on the Web," says it plans to make its new Java Virtual Machine for Microsoft's Windows XP available for free.

Sun Microsystems announced plans Monday to make its new Java Virtual Machine for Microsoft's Windows XP available as a free download.

The new Java Virtual Machine (JVM) allows Java applications--from games to collaboration software--to run on Windows XP.

Sun says the new JVM will also offer new multimedia and animation support as well as enhanced performance, among other things.

"We're committed to delivering the best interactive user experience on the Web through Java technology," said Rich Green, vice president of Java and XML software at Sun, in a statement.

Sun expects Web publishers, developers and enthusiasts to preview the new JVM. It can be found on the company's Java Web site.

Sun sued Microsoft for $35 million in 1997, saying Microsoft breached its contract by trying to extend Java so it would work differently, and presumably better, on Windows computers.

As part of a settlement of the lawsuit in January, Microsoft lost its license to use the latest version of Java technology in its products. The company is permitted to use an older version of Java in products for the next seven years.

However, Microsoft in July decided to remove the JVM software from its Windows XP operating system and Internet Explorer Web browser.