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July 16, 1998

MICROSOFT SAYS JINI IS OLD HAT

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp says Jini, the newest addition to Sun Microsystems Inc’s expanding Java empire, 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. Sun needs Jini, Redmond says, because Java does not provide any services of this kind and Java-only devices therefore have no way of connecting to network services. What’s so new about being able to determine the resolution of a printer? Users can do this across existing networks, Microsoft says. It sees Jini as the latest front in Sun’s campaign to create Java-only world and says Jini is of limited usefulness to it as Microsoft customers need to connect to many kinds of devices and from multiple programming languages. Moreover it says developers can build the same kinds of services in Java on Microsoft platforms using its own JDirect mapping to Windows APIs. Microsoft does not ship the Java Remote Method Invocation on which Jini is based, with its implementation of Sun’s JDK. Microsoft says it’s also not accurate to compare Java/Jini with its Millennium distributed operating system research project: like apples and oranges, it told us. Microsoft told us it expects some of Java’s key features such as automatic memory management and garbage collection to become available to developers working in other languages when new forms of virtual machine become available that support multiple languages. Microsoft acknowledged that it’s researching technologies like these and pointed out there has been some discussion of so-called Universal Virtual Machines supposedly being created by Redmond, IBM and others.

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