What exactly is Microsoft's Java strategy? US reports say the company is holding back, declining to attend the JavaOne conference designed for ISVs to discuss tests and requirements for ?pure Java? applications.
Javasoft said all ISVs were welcome to attend the conference, but when asked why Microsoft did not support the 100% Pure Java announcement, a Microsoft spokesman said it did not participate because it was not invited until after the press had been briefed by JavaSoft on the announcement.
The company added: ?We're not sure why Sun would choose to intentionally exclude one of its most prominent licensees from this announcement if their objective was to show broad support for Java.
Even stranger were Sun's comments to the press that Microsoft had been invited and declined to participate. This is not true.? Microsoft maintains that its Java products are fully compatible with Java and qualify for the Java logo. It commented: ?We are awaiting any information on what it means to be "100% Pure Java" and who will determine ?purity?.
So much for unanimity. Microsoft maintains that its Java strategy is to provide the best way to develop and run Java applications, whether they are cross platform Java applications or full blown Windows applications written in Java. It says it will support whatever Java applications customers and developers choose to run.
What it has done is launch the J/Advantage program for developers and preview a set of Application Foundation Classes designed to strengthen Java?s class libraries. J/Advantage is hyped as the most comprehensive support program for commercial application and component developers. The programme provides technical information and marketing assistance, and Tod Nielsen, Microsoft?s general manager of the developer relations group, said: ?Java developers want to do more than just play with the technology; they want to make money. J/Advantage delivers on our commitment to developers, providing information and opportunities to build successful businesses.?
More specifically, J/Advantage includes automatic and bidirectional integration of ActiveX technologies and JavaBeans. Microsoft says this dramatically expands the market for JavaBeans components, allowing JavaBeans to be dropped into many business applications, including Microsoft Office, Lotus Notes, Borland Delphi, Sybase PowerBuilder and Visual Basic. (The Giga Information Group estimates Active X 1996 revenues at over $200 million, growing to $2 billion by 2000.)
p> Sixteen Java software vendors have signed up as charter members of the programme, including Asymetrix Corp, BulletProof Corp, Calico Technology, Digital Harbor, ELF Systems, JB Development, KL Group Inc, NeuronData Inc, Powersoft Corp, Pure Atria, RandomNoise Inc, Shoreline Teleworks, Stingray Software Inc, Sybase Inc, ViewSoft Inc, and XDB Systems Inc.
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