Microsoft hits Sun's Java

Microsoft hits Sun’s Java
Tom Foremski Sun Microsystems’ hold on Java is being weakened by Microsoft’s efforts to tailor the programming language to particular computer platforms. Microsoft’s latest Visual J++ software development tool runs only on Windows systems. The move has angering Sun and thousands of Java developers because it ignores Java’s key benefit of being a platform-independent language. “Sun has pretty much lost control over Java,” says Ron Rapport, senior analyst at market research firm Zona Research. “Optimising Java for specific platforms is a growing trend. Sun’s cross-platform vision is not dead, but Microsoft is not helping and since it has 80 per cent of the desktop market, it has the major say over how Java is used.” The Java Lobby, a 12,000-strong Java developer organisation, has attacked Microsoft’s Java strategy, with president Rick Ross declaring war on Microsoft. “Microsoft is bent on controlling the future of technology and on limiting our options only to those which work to their economic advantage.” Apple has announced an alliance with Microsoft to integrate Microsoft’s Java technologies with its own Java virtual machine, another development tailoring it to specific hardware.


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