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November 24, 1998

MICROSOFT READIES JINI ALTERNATIVE FOR NEXT APRIL

By CBR Staff Writer

Inevitably, Microsoft Corp is to challenge Sun Microsystems Inc’s Jini distributed computing effort, and is working on technology to enable TCP/IP devices to identify each other and communicate. According to the EE Times, which credits Carl Stork, manager of Windows hardware strategy, Microsoft will go public on its efforts at the WinHEC conference in Los Angeles next April. Stork – which had not returned our calls by press time – apparently told the paper that all that was required for a Jini alternative was a small amount of software in a PC to identify devices…there are some protocols that need to be nailed down. Microsoft has dismissed Jini as unimportant before (CI No 3,494), saying it does little more than re-invent the kinds of network services, such as file and print, that are already in widespread use in non-Java environments. It’s not yet clear whether what Microsoft is now talking about will come out of its Millennium distributed operating system technology currently in the labs. Millennium will supposedly feature self-healing technology and will include a distributed network operating system that removes the boundaries between clients and servers and between the servers themselves, turning the network into a single computer. Sun, meanwhile, is expected to reveal more details about Jini at next month’s Java Business Expo, when Novell Inc is also expected to announce integration between Jini and its NDS Novell Directory Services. The first code is expected to be posted on the web at the same time.

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