Orlando may be home to kindly creatures like Mickey and Donald, but last month it was ground zero of Javaman's recent Microsoft attack. Javaman, also known as Scott McNealy, the not so mild mannered CEO of Sun Microsystems, announced Sun's suit against Microsoft at a Gartner Group symposium-to the surprise of everyone including his hosts.

The suit alleges that the Java programming language released in Microsoft's Explorer 4.0 browser falls short of the specifications delineated in Microsoft's licensing agreement. The result: Some applications developed to run on Explorer's virtual machine may run only on Windows. And, technically speaking, says Gartner Group's Mike West, the virtual machine does fall short of specifications because, rather than using Sun's prescribed middleware interface, Microsoft plugged in its own. And instead of using Sun's Java native interface, Microsoft again plugged in its own. "This was not a naive error," says West. "Java is supposed to be portable, and Microsoft is trying to make it platform-linked."

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