Sun, Microsoft pact draws mixed reactions

The broad legal settlement reached Friday between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems could be a big boost for the companies and their customers, but any impact it may have on the European Commission's efforts to rein in Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior remains unclear, analysts and legal experts said

In an unexpected move, Microsoft announced Friday that it will pay Sun a total of $1.6 billion to settle all outstanding antitrust and patent issues between the companies, and make a further $350 million royalty payment to use Sun technologies in its products. Meanwhile, Sun will pay royalties for Microsoft technologies that it uses.

The payments provide the backbone for a technology sharing agreement that will see the companies work together to make their competing products interoperate. For example, they plan to build a bridge between Microsoft's Active Directory software and Sun's Java System Identity Server and "improve technical collaboration" between Java and .Net, their competing platforms for Internet-based computing, the companies said.

News source: InfoWorld

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