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MS stands by its use of Java

Microsoft is seeking to assure its customers that the suit filed by Sun Microsystems is without merit and will have no effect on those using IE 4.0 or other products.

Microsoft (MSFT) is seeking to assure its customers that the suit filed by Sun Microsystems (SUNW) over the software giant's use of Java is without merit and will have no effect on those using its products, including its latest Web browser.

In a letter dated today, a vice Jousting over Java president at the Redmond, Washington, company told customers not to lose confidence in Internet Explorer 4.0, which Sun claims does not correctly implement Sun's Java language.

"I want to let you know that even though these debates will be going on, Microsoft will remain focused on building great products," wrote Brad Chase, Microsoft's vice president of developer relations and marketing. "We are continuing our work to deliver the best, fastest, and most functional software for you to use, deploy, and enjoy."

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Sun accused Microsoft of corrupting Java in Internet Explorer, in violation of a licensing contract Microsoft signed. The suit has escalated a major public relations war between the two companies.

Microsoft is further fanning the flames by also making available a list of frequently asked questions regarding the suit.

According to the FAQ, Sun's suit is hurting its attempts to be certified as an official standards body for Java, which is designed to run on a variety of platforms and devices.

According to the document, "Sun's attempt to deter developers from taking advantage of the best implementation of Java creates overwhelming doubt as to Sun's ability to serve as a neutral standards body for the evolution of Java."

A Sun spokeswoman said she was not surprised that Microsoft was attempting to assuage customers' concerns about the litigation, but she took exception to the claims that the suit would prevent the International Standards Organization from choosing Sun to govern Java, should it become a standard.

"The whole point of what we're about here is preserving the value proposition of Java," said Lisa Poulson, a spokeswoman for Sun. "It is our obligation to let people know what products are compliant and what products are not."

In the letter to customers, Microsoft's Chase also said the company is respecting the terms of its license with Sun. "Not only do we pass more of Sun's compatibility tests then any other vendor (including Sun itself), but reviews cite Internet Explorer 4.0's superiority in Java speed and overall implementation."

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