Sun, Microsoft, Oracle and Netscape and others have got together to back a new UK-based Java user group, the Java Forum, which was launched this week at the Networks show in Birmingham.
The Forum, which was set up and is being managed by the Research Group, will focus on attracting MIS managers rather than developers to join its ranks in an attempt to raise awareness of the Java language and help users understand the business benefits of introducing Java-based applications into their organisation.
Simon Moore, the Research Group?s chairman, said: ?I got the same feeling with Java as I did with Windows in 1989, and I believe that people have not fully perceived the business benefits yet, although I think it will be phenomenally important in the future. The model of computing is changing as we move to the Internet and we have to find a better way of managing the IT world.?
He added that although there had been a lot of debate over whether Microsoft should be allowed to join the Forum, particularly in the light of its non-participation in Sun?s ?100% Java Initiative?, the general consensus had been to allow freedom of speech and let the software giant have its say.
The 10 founder members of the Forum, which include IBM and Novell, have each put #5,000 each into the pot to get the organisation off the ground. As a result, user membership will be free until 1 January, after which corporates will be expected to pay #595 per annum for seven people to join.
The Forum?s first formal meeting of its members is expected to take place at the Java Show in the UK at the end of the summer. People from countries other than the UK will be allowed to join the group, and Moore said he hoped to replicate the Forum elsewhere over time.
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