US Report: Microsoft makes its next Java move

Microsoft has released a new technology preview of Visual J++ 6.0, its Java development tool due to ship in September.

The release supersedes Microsoft's VJ++ 6.0 Technology Preview 1, which Sun Microsystems tested last week and declared in violation of the its Java license agreement. A hearing on whether Sun should be granted a temporary injunction to halt shipment of Visual J++ and Windows 98 is scheduled for Sept. 4. Microsoft refused to say whether it addressed any of the issues raised by Sun, although it did acknowledge that the new release has a different version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine for Java.

"As we continue working on previews geared toward the final launch, we're always tweaking the VM to make it better," said product manager Bill Dunlap. "But the Windows Foundation Classes [WFCs] that we debuted with Technology Preview 1 are unchanged, and while we can't comment on specifics, we believe we're fully within our rights in producing great development tools for Windows. We don't force people to use this product."

Visual J++ 6.0 now allows developers to take any WFC component and turn it into an ActiveX control with the press of a button, Dunlap said. It also allows easier database access and includes an integrated visual component manager, more Windows-style components, and better documentation. In addition, developers can wrap an HTML rendering component in WFC to Web-enable Windows applications. A Sun spokeswoman said the company will thoroughly test all of Microsoft's Java code to make sure the Court is up to date.

In other Java news, PCWeek and ZDTV have intervened in the Sun-Microsoft case to request that certain documents be unsealed. A hearing is set for July 31. Sun began telling media organisations that requested sealed documents to intervene after Microsoft refused to co-operate on the matter and the Court appeared too busy to act quickly, a Sun spokeswoman said.