A US federal judge yesterday ruled that Microsoft has 120 days to begin shipping Sun's Java technology with its Windows operating system.

Judge Frederick Motz also ruled that Sun can proceed with all 16 of its antitrust claims against the software maker, overruling an earlier decision he took dismissing two of those claims. Motz did grant Microsoft a motion to delay exercising the order for two weeks, pending an appeal.

Sun has accused Microsoft of using its monopoly power in the desktop operating systems market to derail the use of Java, which competes with Microsoft's .Net. Microsoft has done this, according to Sun, by distributing Java software that is incompatible with Sun's, restricting its ability to run across multiple computer platforms.

Microsoft will appeal the injunction requiring it to carry the Java code, known as Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Microsoft lawyer Steven Holley argued that Sun's wording of the "must-carry" order is vague and could require Microsoft to carry Sun's JVM in its server operating systems, a market in which Microsoft does not have a monopoly, he said.

He also expressed concerns that the order would require Microsoft to carry Sun's Java on older versions of Windows other than Windows XP and in the Internet Explorer browser. The .Net Framework is an optional install for original equipment manufacturers in the newer operating system.

The Microsoft attorney asked Motz to give Microsoft up to 180 days to offer Sun's Java in an upcoming service pack for Windows XP.

At one point, Motz asked Microsoft's lawyers why they were raising 60 pages of concerns about his Java order nine months after Sun asked for the preliminary injunction.

"I'm reminded of a sentence I took out of my opinion," Motz said. "When Microsoft has the will to achieve, the achievement is great, and when it has the will to obstruct, the obstruction is complete."

Motz effectively split the difference between the two sides, ordering that Microsoft distribute the Sun software within 120 days.

Motz asked the two sides to work out their remaining differences by Monday and deliver to him their agreed upon language in a new "must carry order" that also resolves other outstanding issues raised in Wednesday's hearing.

Microsoft lawyer David Tulchin said he's not sure if the two sides can resolve all the remaining issues by the judge's deadline. "We're not going to be happy with any order, and that's why we're going to the court