May 18, 1998,
JAVA Takes Further Evolutionary Steps -- Microsoft Releases Next
Beta Of Visual J++
Los Angeles -- Advancing its vision of Java, Microsoft Corp.
recently released a beta of its Visual J++ 6.0 and gave developers
an inkling of how the software giant will follow up its flavor of
Nearly 500 developers at the first Microsoft Visual J++
Conference and Exposition received the beta last month, which is an
integral part of the lawsuit currently being waged by Java creator
Sun Microsystems Inc., Mountain View, Calif.
Sun said Microsoft's modifications violate the Internet
programming language's license and are an attempt to freeze out
competitors and preserve its Windows monopoly. Microsoft denies the
allegation and challenges both the pure Java concept and the
promised cross-platform applications.
"[Having] cross-platform applications is not an end-user
advantage," said Anders Hejlsberg, Microsoft's architect for its
Visual J++ line. "The advantages are technical and tend to benefit
the developer. The end user uses the same platform, [operating
system] and applications. All they want is what runs on their
Microsoft's flavor of Java stresses the importance of a
productive development environment and efficient code compilation,
he said. Efficient execution can only be achieved by allowing direct
calls to the Windows Foundation Classes, which are the underlining
components for controlling the interface, Hejlsberg added.
VARs can use components such as ActiveX and Microsoft Management
Console to easily build business tools, he said.
Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., is attempting to create a groundswell
of converts to the Java platform by appealing to universities to
include Java as part of their course curricula. About 10 percent of
conference participants were professors.
Seton Hall University is standardizing on Java, said Bert
Wachsmuth, professor of math and computer science at the university.
"We went from Pascal to C++ but wanted to avoid many of the C++
idiosyncrasies, such as compiler directives," he said. "We also
desired a language that is more strongly typed, fun to use, and most
importantly, object-oriented. Java provides all this and more. It
allows our students to get right to the GUI interface in an
object-oriented way and use the language for higher courses such as
networking and distributed applications."