Microsoft Corp plans a fresh assault on Sun Microsystems’ Java language this week, according to an article in last Friday’s San Jose Mercury News. Microsoft, says the paper, has began briefing software developers about the new technology, which apparently includes a variant of Java with the addition of two new key words. Significantly, the new Microsoft technology also includes a new and faster virtual machine for Windows to interpret the new code, and a new set of Windows Foundation Classes credited to Anders Hejlsberg, the ex Borland International Inc chief technology officer who defected to Microsoft last year. Microsoft is also expected to reveal its Visual J++98 programming development tools. Presentations last week were given under the title Java Technology Preview, but given Microsoft’s current legal battle with Sun Microsystems Inc, it is unclear whether the new technology will bear the Java name when it is officially released. It is also unclear whether the software will run on platforms other that Windows or NT-based hardware or be compatible with the official Java Virtual Machine specification. What is clear to many observers, is that Microsoft hopes to lure developers using Sun’s flavor of Java over to its own brand by offering technology geared specifically to the Windows platform. The announcements come ahead of Sun’s Java One event scheduled to be held in San Francisco later this month.
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