Jonathan Schwartz, the chief strategy officer for Sun Microsystems, said yesterday that Microsoft is trying to extend its monopoly power to the Internet by promoting its Microsoft .NET strategy over rivals such as Java. The comments came during the executive's cross-examination in Microsoft's antitrust remedy hearings, in which nine US states and the District of Columbia are seeking stricter punishments than Microsoft's proposed settlement with the US government and nine other states specifies. Microsoft had asked the court to throw out Schwartz's comments about .NET and Web services because the statements are unrelated to the original case, but Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly demurred, noting that the testimony is relevant to Microsoft's overall behavior.

"The Internet is largely built on open standards, but Microsoft's control of the ubiquitous operating system combined with its ownership of the dominant browser and promotion of .NET Passport means that it could lock end users in to a Microsoft-controlled world," Schwartz said in written testimony the court released early yesterday. Microsoft responded with a statement late yesterday that alleged Sun is using the legal system to slow down .NET momentum because the company was "late to the game on Web services." Part of the nonsettling states' remedy requires Microsoft to bundle Sun's Java environment with every copy of Windows.

Microsoft also tried to show that Schwartz is biased against Microsoft, in a now-familiar refrain from the company's lawyers. "Part of your job responsibilities at Sun are to make critical statements about Microsoft and Passport," Microsoft attorney Steve Holley said. "My boss would disagree with that job description," Schwartz replied.