In a move to regain control of its Java platform, Sun?s Javasoft division is launching a piece of software that replaces Microsoft?s Java Virtual Machine with its own.
Using the new Java Activator, software developers can force a user?s PC to use Sun?s Java Runtime Environment (JRE) when executing a particular Java application.
Javasoft has claimed that the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) built into MS' browser Internet Explorer 4.0 is not fully compatible with the Java standard development kit, JDK 1.1 - something Microsoft has disputed.
Javasoft said its latest move makes sure enterprise developers can use the full functionality of the latest JDK 1.1, without having to worry whether the users? Web browsers will be able to run it.
The Sun division adds that Activator will work with Internet Explorer 3.02 or later, as well as with Netscape Navigator 3.0 or later, both on Windows 95 and Windows NT.
Netscape Navigator 3.0 supported an earlier version of JDK, though Javasoft claims the present Netscape Communicator does completely adhere to JDK 1.1.
Documents on the Javasoft Web site say Java Activator does not permanently deactivate or replace the JVM built into the user?s Web browser. It merely makes sure that, if the Web page?s author specifies this, the Javasoft JRE is used instead.
To use Java Activator, the Web page in which a Java applet is embedded, must be altered. If JavaSoft JRE is not installed on the user?s PC, Java Activator will download and install it before running the applet.
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