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HP's real-time Java breakaways lose key support vote

National Committee for Information Technology Standards says 'no' to non-Sun Java

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The National Committee for Information Technology Standards (NCITS) has formally rejected the Hewlett-Packard led Real-Time Java Working Group's proposed specification. The NCITS originally voted to support the Real-Time Java Working Group (RTJWG) at a preliminary session back in December 1998. The RTJWG selected the NCTIS to oversee its work on developing a version of Java for real-time embedded systems after its attempt to come to an agreement with Sun Microsystems, which is developing its own real-time Java with IBM, stalled. The Group's argument with Sun centred on just how open the Java creator was being with the technology, but deep down the conflict appears as much about defining a market worth billions of dollars, far more than the personal computer business. Had the NCITS supported the RTJWG's proposed standard, it would ultimately have resulted in two possibly incompatible standards. While RTJWG members were keen to stress the NCITS vote did not mean they would now be forced to join the Sun camp. However, unless the Group can find another standards body willing to take its work on board, some kind of alignment with the Sun way of doing things seems certain. Still, the NCITS vote wasn't an outright victory for Sun -- the RTJWG's supporters simply failed to win the ten votes necessary for the motion to be carried, thanks to the large number of voters who abstained. ®

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