The results, Visual J++ and the Windows Foundation Classes, were perhaps too successful: In 1997, Java owner Sun sued Microsoft for violating the licensing conditions of its contract. The lawsuit signaled the deathblow to Microsoft’s internal efforts to fully embrace Java at every level. “That was the genesis for us understanding … that it’s really hard to do what’s right for your customers by extending someone else’s platform,” Hejlsberg said recently. “We’ve got to build our own.”
That was the beginning of .NET, which would emulate the Java runtime environment but be completely designed, built, and maintained by Microsoft. and as Anders noted, “of course we needed a programming language.” Originally called COOL, for C++ Object-Oriented Language, this new language would very closely resemble Java.