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Microsoft Java Virtual Machine FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm running Windows XP and visited a Web site with a Java applet and Internet Explorer told me I couldn't run it; what is going on?

Windows XP (the version of Windows XP which Microsoft began shipping in the Fall of 2001) shipped with the Microsoft java virtual machine (a piece of software that runs Java applets) as a Web-installable component of the product. Sun Microsystems brought a lawsuit against Microsoft in March, alleging that Microsoft's distribution of the virtual machine in Windows XP over the Web is unlicensed and constitutes copyright infringement. Microsoft believes that Sun is wrong about that, but rather than argue about it Microsoft disabled the installation of the Microsoft VM on Windows XP machines that didn't already have a Microsoft VM. As discussed in more detail below, Microsoft is now making the Microsoft VM available by distributing it as part of the upcoming Windows XP SP1. Any customer who faced this situation can load Windows XP SP1 by downloading it off Windows Update or ordering a CD through and they will receive the Microsoft VM as part of the default installation of Windows XP.

How can I get the Microsoft VM now?

It is most likely that your system already has the Microsoft VM on it if you are running any operating system other than Windows XP. If you have Windows XP and your computers manufacturer did not preinstall the Microsoft VM, or you did not download the Microsoft VM from Windows Update or prior to July 10, your system may not have the Microsoft VM on it. To get the Microsoft VM, you will need to install Windows XP SP1.

But there is a quantity of sites where you can simply download the original Microsoft VM. See Microsoft VM download links for details.

Will the Microsoft Virtual Machine be part of Windows XP SP1?

Yes: it will be available in all SP1 releases.

Where can I get a version of Windows XP SP1 that includes the Microsoft VM?

Download Windows XP SP1 from Windows Update. You will also be able to order the Windows XP SP1 CD from Microsoft. Shipping and handling will be $9.95USD. It will also be available in various retail outlets.

Will the Microsoft VM continue to be supported (by PSS)?


Will the Microsoft VM continue to be developed or enhanced?

Our settlement agreement with Sun allows us to make security fixes until January 2004. After that, our settlement does not allow us to make any changes to the Microsoft VM, even to fix critical defects or security holes.

Should I use Sun's Java virtual machine?

Microsoft is not licensed to distribute Sun's Java virtual machine and has not tested it for error-free operation with Microsoft products.

If I built an application with Visual J++, how can I get the Microsoft VM onto a system?

The licenses for Microsoft Visual J++ and the Microsoft SDK for Java both grant rights to redistribute the Microsoft VM in conjunction with and as part of applications written with those products. Customers should consult their end user license agreement to determine the scope of these redistribution rights.

I'm a developer who has built application with Visual J++ or the Microsoft SDK for Java and I need to get the latest version of the Microsoft VM, where can I get the latest version of the Microsoft VM?

Microsoft has long made the latest version of the Microsoft VM available for licensees of its developer tools at the Microsoft SDK for Java home page ( This link is available for Visual J++ and Microsoft SDK for Java licensees only.

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