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Wednesday, November 18, 1998 Published at 07:31 GMT

Business: The Economy

Microsoft mulls Windows ruling

Windows 98 must be adapted in 90 days

Software giant Microsoft is expected to appeal against a ruling that it has just 90 days to modify its Windows 98 programme or withdraw the market.

Ronald Whyte, a district judge in San Jose, California, has issued a preliminary injunction that will ban Microsoft from selling products that use the technology.

The ban includes any Microsoft software which uses the Java language, developed by the software giant's rival Sun Microsystems.

While Microsoft considers its legal options for Windows 98, in Washington the company is being sued by the US Government in a landmark anti-trust case for alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

The California verdict is the latest twist in the continuing court battle between the two companies.

It has often been seen as a test case for the much larger legal battle taking place in Washington.

Sun sued Microsoft last year, seeking $35m in damages for allegedly developing and distributing a Windows-only form of the Java language, and violating a 1996 agreement.

Legal options

Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said the company would comply with the order while reviewing its legal options.

Microsoft is expected to appeal against the judge's decision within a few days.

Microsoft has countersued Sun over the complex licencing arrangements between the two rivals.

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