In a major legal victory for Sun Microsystems, a federal judge on Tuesday demanded that Microsoft remove the Java logo from Windows, Internet Explorer, and any other products that use the language. The ruling was issued by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, California.

Last Fall, Sun filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, saying that its use of the Java logo on Internet Explorer 4.0 was illegal since IE failed Sun's Java compatibility tests. Microsoft says it will comply with the order but will continue its fight.

"This is really just a minor skirmish in the bigger war about who is complying with this contract and who is not," said Microsoft's Tom Burt. "Once all the facts are heard, we will prevail." Microsoft's Todd Nielson, general manager for developer relations, agrees. "This preliminary ruling has no impact on any of our products," he said. "As far as the bits the developers use or download from the Web, it has no impact on the product."

Sun, however, was pretty excited about the ruling.

"This is good news for consumers, for software developers, and for our customers and licensees," said Michael H. Morris, Sun's vice president and general counsel. "This is about a trademark and our insistence that products labeled as Java-compatible satisfy Sun's requirements for use of its logo.