Sun Microsystems intends to sign on some of the most popular websites to help drive Java technology on PCs.
Rich Green, vice-president of Java and XML software at Sun, told US reporters the company was not in a position to announce which firms would take part in its new project, but said sites owned by companies like Yahoo! and AOL Time Warner would make good partners for Sun.
Java's main appeal has been its ability to run programs identically on various computer systems, like those using Apple's Mac operating system (OS) or Microsoft's Windows, without having to rewrite the programs for each OS.
"We're focusing our energy on 20 or 30 sites that would give Java to anyone for free," Green said.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group, said it was a good idea, but the problem was Sun hated PCs so he believed the company was a poor advocate for PC-based initiatives.
"They need to get third parties to do this, and the fact that they realise this and are executing is a good sign.
"There may still be issues given Java's Sun connections, but at least this has a better chance of success than if Sun were to do it alone," Enderle said.
Java's future on the PC remains questionable, as Sun and rival Microsoft have battled over the technology for years.
Sun's actions stem from a decision by Microsoft to remove Java Virtual Machine from testing versions of Internet Explorer 6, which is integrated into Windows XP.
While Microsoft did not ship a JVM with IE 6, one will be available for download, when a person, a web page requiring Java support is accessed for the first time.
The decision to pull the JVM from Internet Explorer followed a January settlement with Sun over Java licensing.
Sun filed the lawsuit in 1997, alleging Microsoft violated its contract for licensing Java.
PC makers such as Compaq and Dell have said they will include a JVM with their Windows XP machines.
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