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September 16, 1998

SUN SHRUGS OFF JAVAOS ISSUES, PLUGS RETAIL USES

By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc retail technology folk and partners have been showing off a collection of point-of-sale systems – from cash registers to ATMs – based around the company’s JavaStation technologies. They’re hoping the confusion surrounding the company’s Java client technologies doesn’t give prospective manufacturers and users too many hoops to jump through. The retail group believes the mess that Sun made of the JavaOS operating system is largely a PR failure and that there should be little to worry developers. Applications will work across all nomenclatures and on future JavaStation devices using the 64-bit UltraSparc IIe and/or microJava 701 as well as the current 32-bit microSparc IIep technology that’s already hit the wall. Mind, they’re still waiting for JavaOS for Business – the former JavaOS for NCs recast with IBM Corp’s help – to be gutted and re-plumbed with the Libra real-time kernel from Sun’s Chorus Systemes SA acquisition. What that will do for application compatibility isn’t known. Sun isn’t going to manufacture retail devices of its own but hopes suppliers will either OEM complete JavaStations for use as POS devices or, more likely, take motherboards and software. Meantime Sun said it didn’t know whether the JavaPOS device extensions that will be available for retail developers will be offered free of charge as they were co-developed with IBM Corp.

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