HP mounts attack on Sun's Java stronghold

HP mounts attack on Sun’s Java stronghold
Hewlett-Packard steals spotlight at annual Java One conference with announcement of Java virtual machine for embedded systems. Tom Foremski. Sun Microsystems’ hold on Java has been further weakened by Hewlett-Packard. HP has developed its own Java virtual machine for embedded systems, and the news overshadowed the annual JavaOne conference, held in San Francisco, which attracted over 12,000 developers. “I think what HP has done is good for Java overall, and Sun should applaud HP,” said MicroDesign Research analyst Jim Turley. “HP has managed to produce a well engineered product that uses one third of the memory of Sun’s EmbeddedJava.” Sun’s initial response was that it was untroubled by HP’s version. However, this was followed by hints that HP may have violated its intellectual property. The development highlights Sun’s increasing concern over the fate of its ‘write-once, run-everywhere’ programming language as competitors such as Microsoft work to tailor the language to particular hardware platforms. Microsoft’s latest Visual J++ software development tool is designed to run on Window systems alone (See Electronics Weekly, March 18). “Java momentum is growing but there is a perception that Sun is spreading itself too thin, being a mile wide and an inch deep,” said Zona Research analyst Ron Rapport. “But it has to do that, to help Java mature into a widely used technology.” Sun Coo Ed Zander said that Java has become a de facto industry standard that there are now more Java programmers than C and C++ programmers.

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