An unhappy Sun may sue Microsoft

Mumbai: Not satisfied with the court's verdict in the antitrust case against Microsoft Corporation, Sun Microsystems is likely to sue Microsoft. Sun Microsystems is of the opinion that the settlement reached between Microsoft and the federal government last week is unlikely to protect consumers as well as competitors and is therefore unhappy with the outcome of the case.

Though, under the anti-trust settlement, computer manufacturers will be in a position to decide on what software to load on to their computers, Sun Microsystems sees the deal as providing theoretical choices.

Basically the issue forming the basis of discontent is whether computer manufacturers will be in a position to offer other software products alongside Microsoft's windows or in place of Microsoft's windows. Hard-liners feel stronger action should have been taken against Microsoft, which allegedly used strong-arm tactics to crush rival web-browser-makers like Netscape. Thus, Microsoft not only bundled its own browser with Windows, it also forced PC-makers not to install Netscape as well.

The settlement clearly allows Microsoft to include new features in Windows and make it more attractive to computer manufacturers. However, one thing is clear. Microsoft will no longer be allowed to use strong-arm tactics to prevent PC manufacturers to use these new features exclusively.

Most feel PC manufacturers will continue to use Microsoft's Windows or/and other products as well as offer a few competing ones alongside. The basic reason, analysts feel, is that it will be very difficult for original equipment manufacturers for removing Microsoft as most users are going to demand the same functions as they have paid for it and are used to those functions.