Java jumps to operating systems

All major operating systems to build in support for Java

Microsoft Corp. and other vendors plan to add Java capability to their operating systems, touting the addition as a way to make Java more accessible to developers and users, company officials announced in late April.

Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi Ltd., IBM, Microsoft, Novell Inc., Silicon Graphics Inc., SunSoft, The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. and Tandem Computers Inc. all plan to incorporate Java in their operating systems, officials said.

The new licenses from JavaSoft, the division of Sun Microsystems Inc. that develops and markets Java technology, will allow the companies to embed the Java Virtual Machine and Java class libraries in their operating systems. As a result, developers will have easier access to Java programming on their platform of choice, and users will be able to run Java applets and applications outside of their Web browsers, officials said.

Programs written in the Java programming language will be able to run on all platforms that license Java. JavaSoft will monitor the compatibility of the different Java OS implementations, officials said.

Microsoft will embed Java into future versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT, integrating it with its ActiveX technology, officials said; it will also incorporate its just-in-time Java compiler. Apple will integrate Java into its Macintosh, Pippin and Newton systems, as well as into its authoring technologies, Internet servers, client software and CyberDog Internet suite, officials said.

SGI will embed Java in its Irix operating system, and Sun will embed it in Solaris. IBM will embed Java in Merlin, its forthcoming new version of OS/2, as well as other platforms.

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