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July 24, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:29pm

SUN AND MICROSOFT MAKE RIVAL JAVA NOISES

By CBR Staff Writer

The tussle for the hearts and minds of Java developers between its inventor, Sun Microsystems Inc, and its would-be controller, Microsoft Corp continued yesterday with a raft of mini- announcements. For its part Sun announced the Java Performance Runtime for Windows, a binary runtime environment that it had touted back at JavaOne in April. It’s only a so-called developer’s release, but it includes a Java virtual machine (JVM) and the Java class libraries as well as a Just-In-time compiler for Windows. For its part, Microsoft produced something similar yesterday in the shape of the second beta of its Software Developer’s Kit (SDK) for Java 2.0. It too includes Java Developer’s Kit (JDK) 1.1 support – Microsoft, like all licensees, must support the current version as part of the licensing agreement – but is specially configured to take advantage of Windows. Most importantly it includes Redmond’s J/Direct, which enables developer’s to call the set of Win32 application programming interfaces (APIs) directly. This of course is anathema to Sun, which wants to keep Java free from favoring one platform over another. Microsoft claims its JVM is the fastest around according go the CaffeineMark benchmark, but doesn’t provide numbers to support the claim. Sun would doubtless counter that any vendors can tweak the JVM to run fastest on its own platform. The JavaBeans Migration Assistant for ActiveX that Sun and IBM’s Taligent unit designed is posted on Sun’s site from today, as is a revised beta version of Sun’s JavaBeans Bridge for ActiveX. The InfoBus information backplane for communications between components is also up on Sun’s site in draft specification form. Meanwhile, Sun, in an extremely weak ‘announcement’ which perhaps is designed to make the Internet World show in Chicago this week actually look like an event worth going to, says it will post the draft specification of Java Card 2.0 on its website – but not until September. The draft includes a design specification and a set of Java class libraries. This time round Sun has got support from most smart card players, including the big two, Gemplus SA and Schlumberger Ltd. all of the items in this story are free downloads.

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