Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy says he believes Microsoft will fight tooth and nail against a lawsuit that Sun filed last week over the Java programming environment.
A resolution to the dispute could be a long way off, McNealy warned in a 20-minute presentation followed by questions in a room packed with reporters in Tokyo.
"I think they [Microsoft] will fight this as long and hard as they can fight it," he says, noting that the US legal system often moves in a "very slow manner."
McNealy would not speculate on when the dispute will end: "I don't know when this will be resolved."
McNealy's comments follow the October 6 charges, filed by Sun in a US district court in California, alleging that Microsoft, by shipping its Internet Explorer product with a noncompatible version of Java, breached its licensing agreement for the programming language and operating environment.
McNealy emphasised that Sun's other 116 Java licensees have exercised their agreements in good faith and that Microsoft likely expected the suit.
"Microsoft knew we had to sue them because they knew they were in breach," he said.