Java has gained some concrete support with IBM, Microsoft and Apple increasing their commitment to the development environment, and Sun revealing plans to port the Java OS to the Intel architecture.
According to sources familiar with Sun's plans, the company is committed to bringing the Java OS to Intel's x86 architecture by the end of 1997.
IBM has deepened its strategic commitment to Java by obtaining rights to the Java OS and Hot Java browser from Sun subsidiary JavaSoft. IBM intends to offer the Java OS running natively on the PowerPC.
IBM is expected to deliver its Intel-based version of its network computer by the end of 1997's first quarter, sources inside the company say.
Separately, IBM's personal software products group is expected to announce at Comdex this month the availability of the yet-to-be-released Java 1.02 for the desktop version of OS/2 Warp 4.0.
Microsoft has also demonstrated its faith in Java with the showing last week of several of its key Java technologies at its professional developers conference, in Long Beach, California.
Company officials previewed the 16-bit Windows 3.1 Java Virtual Machine (VM), slated to ship as part of Internet Explorer 3.0 for Windows 3.1 in January. The Windows 3.1 VM, which enters beta testing later this month or in early December, incorporates advanced platform support such as threading and is capable of running Java applets unaltered.
Microsoft has also previewed its extensions of the Java Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) for Windows -- the Microsoft Gallery for Java -- which adds to the base AWT GUI elements such as the Coolbar menu bar, Listview, Treeview, and texture support in UI elements.