Like any other microprocessors, Java chips need an operating system. For Sun Microsystems'upcoming micro Java chip, that means the company's long-awaited and overdue JavaOS.
The wait should be over soon: Sun is in the final stages of testing and certifying the first general release of JavaOS, based on Version 1.1 of the Java Development Kit. A "developer's release" of JavaOS has been available since November 1996 with the earliest pilot version of Sun's network computer, the JavaStation.
Sun has delayed the JavaOS release at least somewhat to fix software bugs, improve performance and add new features, according to a Sun spokesman. Another effort has been to compress the current 4.5Mb of code to 2M bytes.