Sun, IBM, Netscape to unify Java runtimes

Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM and Netscape Communications Corp. on Tuesday will further demonstrate their commitment to Java by unifying their Java run-times.

According to sources close to the companies, all three will announce that a single, consistent Java run-time environment will be implemented into their respective products and platforms.

The announcement is expected to be one of several joint efforts the trio will unveil at the Java Internet Business Expo in New York tomorrow.

Additionally, Sun, IBM and Netscape will offer details about how quickly they will provide the HotSpot virtual machine--Sun's next-generation Java virtual machine--within their products, the sources said.

The move is key, considering that even ISVs who support the 100% Pure Java initiative say that Java run-times vary from operating system to operating system and vendor to vendor. As a result, ISVs say that "write once, run anywhere," which has been Java's selling point since its introduction in 1995, requires a lot of extra work.

Sun officials refused to comment. IBM and Netscape officials were unavailable for comment by press time.