Microsoft has shut down its automatic update site for updating Java software for Windows XP users. This comes just weeks before Microsoft planned on reinstating Java as part of its Windows XP operating system. According to a ZDNet article:
The company closed the install-on-demand feature Wednesday, 30 days after it told Java inventor Sun Microsystems it would reinstate Java in Windows XP through the forthcoming Service Pack 1 but remove it altogether in 2004.
Microsoft said the option was removed to take an issue off the table in legal actions with Sun.
Java lets the same program run on a variety of computers, such as those running the Windows or Mac operating systems, thus undermining the importance of Microsoftis Windows stronghold. Under a 2001 settlement of lawsuits between Sun and Microsoft, Sun granted Microsoft a license to distribute Java with existing products, but under an antitrust suit filed this year, Sun argued that Microsoft didnit have the right to distribute the software online.
Microsoft disagrees, but decided to remove the Java download so it wouldnit be an issue, despite the inconvenience it may cause customers, said Jim Cullinan, Microsoftis lead product manager for Windows.
The Java update removed from the site is expected in Windows XP Service Pack 1 in August or September of this year. More information on the shut down of the Java site is available in the ZDNet article.