Sun Microsystems has announced a host of non-PC devices running Java applications and said Java 2 Standard Edition will feature prominently on the next Mac operating system.
At the JavaOne Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Sun demonstrated a version of Sega's Dreamcast game console including a Java virtual machine. Sega and Motorola will also launch a Java-enabled mobile phone, which will include 10 games, in 2001.
Both Steve Jobs, Apple Computer's chief executive, and Sun chief executive Scott McNealy promised to give Java a dominant presence on the next version of the Mac operating system, scheduled to ship later this year. Jobs said Java 2 Standard Edition, with features such as QuickTime, would be included in Mac OS X.
Other Java developments include stripped-down versions of Java for credit card-sized computers demonstrated by American Express and Citibank. Sun also unveiled Java-enabled mobile phones from Motorola and NTT, as well as a Java-powered Blackberry pager from Research In Motion.
Sun announced plans for a new programming interface, or a set of instructions, that will allow developers to build Java-based ecommerce software that can generate and exchange messages using XML (eXtensible Markup Language).
The interface, called Java API for XML Messaging, is being developed under the Java Community Process (JCP) - the community-based process for developing Java technology specifications. Version 2.0 of the JCP called JCP 2.0 will begin on 19 June.
Pat Sueltz, president of Sun's software products and platform group, said Java and XML fit together like a "hand and glove".
Among the technologies highlighted at JavaOne were an operating system from a Lucent-funded startup called SavaJe Technologies. Jscream is written in C but designed to run Java programs on devices using ARM or StrongARM microprocessors.
Websprocket unveiled VMFoundry software that enables users to run Java applications on ARM and StrongARM-based devices such as mobile phones without the need for a Java Virtual Machine.
Sun launched Java Web Start software, which gives web developers the cross-platform capabilities of a Java application with the ease of centralised web deployment and management. The company will also deliver two of its Java platforms on Linux: J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) v 1.2.1 on Linux and on the client side J2SE (Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition) are available in beta for Linux.
Sun also announced a new web portal for people who use its Forte for Java software development tools. The portal is a virtual neighbourhood where Java technology developers can share products, components and ideas.
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