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September 28, 1998

CHORUS WORK WILL RELIEVE JAVAOS LICENSE BURDEN

By CBR Staff Writer

We can’t keep up with the number of personality changes Sun Microsystems Inc’s JavaOS operating system has undergone before it is even generally useful or widely available. Sun uses a version called JavaOS for network computers running on its JavaStations but it had to call in the cavalry in the shape of IBM Corp to help craft a version acceptable to OEMs for use on third-party devices renamed JavaOS for Business. Supporters maintain JavaOS’ problems are more in the realm of marketing and publi c relations problems but the fact remains the current implementation is so deficient that none, bar the larger ISVs, can afford to touch it. As it stands, JavaOS lacks a loadable device driver model which means anyone wanting to write a device driver for it has license the entire Java source for Sun; not a cheap undertaking. Moreover, JavaOS does not yet have the Java System Database or Java System Loader that will provide look-up services. They’re currently in alpha form. This is why the micro kernel technology Sun acquired with Chorus Systemes SA is so eagerly awaited. JavaOS’ kernel will be swapped out for the Chorus’ Libra microkernel, which includes a loadable device drive, and the look-up services added. A device driver kit will be provided, enabling ISVs to write JavaOS drivers to a set of APIs and without having to license Java lock, stock and barrel from Sun.

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