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Symbian cellular allies and Palm back Sun's Jini

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As if by magic, our earlier story (Sony, Sun to Sign with Symbian?) has received rapid confirmation via the licensee list for Sun's Jini, which was announced yesterday. By a massive coincidence, Ericsson Nokia, Motorola and Symbian are signed up, alongside a long list of other companies, adding up to what has to be seen as serious momentum behind Jini. Philips, also a Symbian supporter, and Sony, a possible Symbian licensee, are other wireless players supporting the new Sun standard. That doesn't necessarily mean Sun will take out a reciprocal Symbian licence, but the sight of the comrades moving in formation makes it clear there will be close co-operation. Most of the Jini licensees are significant in their fields, and apart from the cellular ones, the presence of Sun's new friend, America Online, is significant. AOL announced plans for an 'AOL Anywhere' strategy when it did the deal with Netscape and Sun, and Jini technology is perforce an obvious component of this. Bosch Siemens, Bull, Canon, Cisco and CA are also names to conjure with, as are Samsung, Seagate, Sharp, 3Com Palm, Toshiba and Xerox. The spread is broad enough to make Sun's chances of making Jini pervasive look good. We might however observe that the presence of 3Com Palm, but not parent 3Com, could be a slight problem. Didn't 3Com just strike an embedded networking related alliance with the other side, Microsoft? Tricky... Jini is intended as a sort of 'Son of Java' network-centric technology that will be used to connect the world, from dumb appliances upwards. Sun says this can include dishwashers, although as far as we can see the dishwasher licensee isn't specifically named (Sun says there is one). The basic idea is that devices automatically announce themselves and their capabilities to the network, then take it from there. Our trainspotting readers may note some overlap with projected future phases of Bluetooth there, and may also note that Intel, which is supposed to be doing those future phases, isn't a Jini partner. Yet? ®

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