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March 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:15pm

JAVAOS LICENSEES SEE IT AS “TOO IMMATURE” TO BE USEFUL

By CBR Staff Writer

It appears the suspicions of our sister publication Online Reporter about JavaOS’s lack of maturity and performance problems were well-grounded (CI No 3,106). Of course not many licensees of the technology, of which there are 25, would say much about it, but those who did were unanimously unimpressed by what they’ve seen so far with one exception: licensees we spoke to who are running JavaOS on Intel Corp processors have no criticism of JavaOS’ performance – only its girth. Which is quite puzzling considering the Microsoft/Intel camp’s recent attempt to accuse Sun of tweaking Java so it ran better on Sparc than on Intel. JavaSoft is working to slim the thing down into less than 2Mb. Some licensees are lopping off pieces deemed unnecessary to their requirements. The first company to step forward and license JavaOS is embedded system company Wind River Systems Inc, which seems none too impressed with what its got. JavaOS is nowhere near beta according to company co-founder and chairman Jerry Fiddler. Wind River has stripped out the JavaOS kernel and replaced it with its own, because Fiddler says JavaSoft’s one doesn’t scale, is not portable, is not network-ready and there’s no technical support to name a few of his gripes. Asked whether he considers the product to be too bloated to succeed in the embedded system world Fiddler, while not wishing to tread on too many toes, said he wouldn’t argue with such a claim. We’ve heard a similar assertion from a lot of embedded companies. Fiddler wouldn’t be drawn regarding the cost of licensing JavaOS, but he said the market is very young just now, and said he expected a lot of activity on the price front over the next six months or so. Network Computing Devices Inc, the company that manufactures IBM Corp’s Network Stations and its own Explora NCs was equally dismissive of JavaOS. It has got a 1.1 cut of the OS but said the company was not doing any work with it. It is too immature to be an OS, according to Lorraine Hariton, NCD’s VP business development. NCD has its own license separate from IBM’s, and for the moment is sticking with its own BSD-derived operating systems for its boxes. Wind River’s Fiddler said he expects JavaSoft to concentrate on the high end – network computers – rather than the embedded market. He said the OS is not capable of working in real-time yet, but he has noticed improvement in the Abstract Windowing Toolkit in the pre-beta cuts Wind River has got so far. The company’s VxWorks platform will be licensed out by Oracle Corp’s Network Computer Inc subsidiary as part of the system software.

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