Sun Microsystems is set to unveil far-reaching plans to combat Microsoft's attempt to splinter Java by not supporting the JDK (Java Developers Kit) beyond version 1.1.
In a move to establish the JDK on PC desktops, irrespective of Microsoft's plans for Java, Sun is in the process of completing OEM deals which will result in Java being bundled with new desktop PCs. The first deals are expected to be announced at next week's Java Internet Business Expo, in New York. One of them will be with IBM, which has agreed to bundle Sun's HotJava Views GUI environment.
Alan Baratz, president of Sun's JavaSoft division, said: "Microsoft is a channel for us, and we are going to create other channels to ensure that all of the Java technologies are delivered to the Win32 platform."
The decision follows an announcement by Microsoft earlier this month that it would not support key parts of the forthcoming 1.2 release of the JDK because it had alternative technology. Among the JDK features that Microsoft has publicly said it would not be supporting include the Java Native Interface (JNI) for accessing hardware directly and the Java Foundation Classes GUI libraries.
However, for Java to be successful on the PC, it is paramount for Sun that the latest JDK is available. To help push this technology into the hands of developers, Baratz said Sun will create a direct sales force for JavaSoft.
Amy Porter, European marketing manager at Sun's JavaSoft division, said: "If Microsoft does not deliver Java to its customer base, we will look elsewhere."
JavaSoft also said it will soon begin bundling its JDK and associated class libraries directly with PCs and other hardware systems. This would provide assurance that if Microsoft does not provide all of the Java technologies with Windows, PCs will still have the functions required to run a Java application.
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