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Microsoft scraps Java meeting

The software giant abruptly cancels a Java developer meeting originally scheduled for this weekend.

Microsoft (MSFT) has abruptly canceled a Java developer meeting scheduled for this weekend.

In an email sent yesterday to attendees, Microsoft's lead manager of community relations, Mike Werner, apologized for the cancellation and cited scheduling conflicts with next week's Internet World trade show in New York.

Microsoft hasn't firmed up a date to reschedule the meeting but will not hold it until after the holidays, said Joe Herman, product manager on Internet platforms. "We want to reschedule it," Herman said.

Microsoft sent invitations November 18 to prospective attendees--"Java influentials," they read--but did not specify an agenda. The meeting, labeled a "Java Developer Briefing," was to be held this Friday and Saturday. Friday is also the day that a federal judge will hold a procedural hearing in the Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft.

Microsoft has been feuding with Java owner Sun Microsystems over the direction of Java development. Sun sued Microsoft after the software giant altered Java code in its Web browser and its Java development tools but continued to use the Java logo. Microsoft has since countersued Sun.

In its original invitation, Microsoft said it would "'set the record straight' on how Java is supported by Microsoft and how it fits into our platform, tool, and technology strategy."

Rick Ross, founder of the Java Lobby and author of an open letter asking Microsoft CEO Bill Gates to support "the totality of Java," was surprised he received an invitation but was looking forward to the briefing.

"I didn't have any Pollyanna expectations, but I'd like to see conflict resolution prevail," Ross said. "If they were beginning to move toward that possibility, I'd support that."

Internet news editor Jeff Pelline contributed to this report.