In an attempt to discredit Sun's Java language, key Microsoft personnel have dismissed it as "a bloated operating system" and said the company would not support the JDK beyond version 1.1.
The Java Foundation Class (JFC), which allows developers to build cross-platform GUI applications, represents one of Microsoft's greatest qualms with Java.
Microsoft executive vice president Steve Balmer was quoted as saying: "(Sun) is trying to turn the JFC into the Sun operating system."
At a Microsoft strategy day two weeks ago Jeremy Gittens, a marketing manager in the Windows group at Microsoft UK, went even further, claiming the JDK 1.1 will be the last version of the JDK Microsoft supports.
Another blow came last Thursday with Microsoft's conspicuous absence from the inaugural meeting of the Java Forum, of which it is a founding member. According to one observer at the meeting, the latest revelations of Microsoft's war on Java "sent shock waves round the table".
Commenting on Microsoft's actions, Simon Phipps, Java evangelist at IBM, said: "It is very sad that a great software company should turn its back on customers in this way."
Sun was less surprised. "They (Microsoft) did it before with JavaBeans, but they're now supporting JavaBeans and have even built a JavaBeans bridge," said a Sun spokeswoman.
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