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March  1998
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Sun announces Mel Friedman as new president of Sun Microelectronics

San Francisco (March 5, 1998) -- Sun yesterday announced that Mel Friedman, the former vice president of worldwide operations for Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation, will be the new president of the Sun Microelectronics business unit.

Friedman replaces Chet Silvestri, who announced he will leave Sun to pursue other opportunites. Friedman will report to Edward Zander, who was recently promoted to chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Friedman has worked at Sun for nine years. Prior to this, he held positions at Prime Computer, Apollo Computer, and Polaroid. He was also co-founder of Tabor Corporation, a disc drive company.

--Stephanie Steenbergen, SunWorld


Sun, Microsoft argue over JDK test versions in court

San Francisco (February 27, 1998) -- Sun Microsystems Inc. asked a federal court today to bar Microsoft Corp.'s use of the Java-compatible logo on Internet Explorer 4.0, but Microsoft argued that the licensing agreement between the two prohibits Sun from requiring such an injunction.

The judge is still considering the motion filed by Sun seeking a preliminary injunction against Microsoft. If allowed, the injunction would prevent Microsoft's use of the Java-compatible logo on its Internet browser until Sun's lawsuite is resolved. Microsoft has filed a countersuit. Resolving those lawsuits is expected to take months, if not years. The next hearing in Sun's lawsuit is Sept. 4.

Sun told District Court Judge Ronald Whyte that Microsoft violated its licensing agreement because IE 4.0 and Microsoft's software development kit for Java do not comply with test suites that licensees must meet for compatibility. Microsoft argued that it passed tests with the "relevant" JDK version required under its contract, which happened to be an earlier JDK version with fewer tests.

However, Sun attorney Lloyd Day Jr. said Microsoft is required not only to pass tests with the JDK that was available at the time the two signed their five-year agreement in March 1996, but also to pass tests for every significant upgrade.

Microsoft attorney David McDonald countered that Sun can only add new tests if it accompanies a JDK version that is backward compatible for two generations of technology, and he claimed that the upgraded version was incompatible with earlier versions. Sun attorney Day denied that the upgrade must be backward compatible, saying only that "each upgrade shall pass test suites that accompany the prior two upgrades."

Day read an e-mail in court from Microsoft product managers acknowledging that they could not and did not pass all the tests with the upgraded JDK. Tom Burt, associated general counsel for Microsoft, said Microsoft had passed most of those tests -- even though it wasn't required to because the upgraded JDK was not backward compatible, and therefore not the version Microsoft has to pass tests for.

Day said Microsoft should have negotiated with Sun on the test versions rather than going ahead and using the Java logo.

"Under trademark law...they have to have Sun's approval," Day said.

But Microsoft said licensing agreements give licensees the right to modify technology. "We have the right to make the changes [to the Java technology]," McDonald countered. "We're not constrained to use just what they sent us."

However, Sun said that by modifying Java as it has and then using the Java-compatible logo, Microsoft is misrepresenting its compliance with Sun's approved Java technology.

The two sides also disagree as to whether Sun can force Microsoft to stop using the logo if it is determined that the contract was breached. Microsoft claims that Sun waived the right to injunctive relief in the licensing agreement between the two companies. But Sun claims it has the right to protect the use of the Java logo under a broader trademark license.

--Elinor Mills, IDG News Service

Masood Jabbar named new president of Sun Microsystems Computer Company

San Francisco (February 27, 1998) -- Sun today announced that Masood Jabbar has been appointed new president of Sun Microsystems Computer Company (SMCC). SMCC is Sun's business unit that develops, manufactures, and markets desktop and server computer systems.

Before this, Jabbar served for three years as SMCC's chief financial officer. He has also held a number of other executive positions within the company.

Jabbar replaces Edward Zander who was recently promoted to the position of Sun's chief operating officer.

--Stephanie Steenbergen

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