Bitter rivals Microsoft and Sun Microsystems announced an agreement Monday under which Microsoft will extend support for its legacy Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MSJVM) until September 30, 2004. The agreement will give developers and other customers more time to transition from MSJVM to Sun's Java Virtual Machine (JVM), the companies say. The agreement also will extend the period of time during which Microsoft can use Sun's Java source code and compatibility-test suites.
   After September 30, Microsoft will stop providing MSJVM security updates and support, but the software will continue to work. The company has provided extensive transition information and links to alternative technologies on its existing Java resource Web site. As part of the agreement, Microsoft now recommends Sun's JVM and various development tools from competitors such as Borland Software, IBM, and Oracle.
   "We are very pleased that \[Microsoft\] and Sun have been able to join together to protect the interests of our mutual customers," Chris Jones, vice president for the Windows Client Division, said. "This agreement is in direct response to our customers' request for more time to manage the transition and to their need for continued support of the MSJVM. Customers now have a year to identify MSJVM dependencies and implement their migration strategies. Microsoft is committed to supporting our customers with MSJVM migration tools and transition information throughout this period."
   This agreement has no bearing on Sun's $1 billion antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, which Sun launched in the wake of Microsoft's federal antitrust case settlement and which Sun representatives say the company is still vigorously pursuing. "The suit and the decision from the suit are not changed by this new license," a Sun spokesperson said yesterday. "The antitrust case is proceeding on course, and we're not commenting further on the antitrust case at this time."