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Sun Says It's Moving Java Beyond The Computer

Winning developers to the platform for building and running Web applications is crucial for Sun and its partners, who face formidable competition from Microsoft's .Net technology.
In a sign of maturity for the Java platform, Sun Microsystems execs said this week's JavaOne Developer Conference in San Francisco will go back to the basics by delivering less hype and more technology. Instead of simply watching chief executives market their products, attendees will learn how to move Java applications beyond the computer to cellular phones, PDAs, smart cards, and any other networked device, says Patricia Sueltz, executive VP and general manager of Sun's software systems group. "This year, we're going to focus back on you, the developer," she said in a keynote address Monday.

Winning developers to the platform for building and running Web applications is crucial for Sun and its partners, who face formidable competition from Microsoft's .Net technology. Both camps are focused on delivering tools that support XML and emerging Web-services standards, which proponents say will drive the next generation of Web applications.

In helping Java move beyond computers, the Java Community Process, the Sun-established industry-standards group, is developing application programming interfaces supporting XML and Web-services technology, says Richard Green, VP and general manager of Java and XML for Sun. One such API would enable Java applications running on mobile phones and PDAs to communicate with other applications on a network through an XML-based Simple Object Access Protocol, an emerging Web-services standard. In addition, with Sun's "Project Monty," virtual machines can run applications 10 times faster but use less battery power in handhelds, Green says. And for developers building server-side applications on the Java 2 enterprise platform, Green said an early release of the Java Web Services Developer Pack for Solaris, Windows 2000 and XP, and Red Hat Linux is available on Sun's Web site.

In an indirect reference to a federal antitrust lawsuit Sun filed against Microsoft earlier this month, Green encouraged developers to install the latest version of the desktop Java platform, Java 2 Standard Edition, on Microsoft's latest Windows operating system, XP. In the suit, Sun claims Microsoft has engaged in unfair business practices by leveraging its Windows desktop monopoly to undermine Sun's competing Java platform. Sun claims Microsoft is using Windows XP to impede Java's adoption in the market.