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Microsoft set to unleash Java-killer Cool

COM/C++ programming framework no longer an internal project, apparently

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Microsoft's 'Java killer' object-oriented language, Cool, looks set to be released publicly in the next few weeks, The Register has learned. And the language will ship with tools to translate Java source code into Cool. Cool isn't a language in its own right -- rather, it's a series of extensions to C++ designed to make C++ as easy to program as Java, in the hope that programmers will, frankly, stop using the Sun product. The technology comprises a programming framework that will hook into the next version of Microsoft's Common Object Model, COM+, part of Windows 2000. Cool started life as an internal Microsoft project to create an alternative to Sun if the latter's legal battle over the 'purity' of Microsoft's implementation of Java, from its virtual machines through to its Visual J development environment, went against the Gates Gang. The idea was first mooted last November by Microsoft VP Paul Maritz as a 'clean room' version of Java free from Sun technology. And last April, Visual C product manager Jeff Ressler said: "Sun and the lawsuit they have brought against Microsoft has directly threatened the industry's ability to innovate in Java. This has most directly affected our Visual J development tool. We continue to sell it, and apps built with it will not be subject to any limitations, but its future is not definitive [we assume he means 'definite']." Definitely coming to a conclusion, it now appears. Microsoft will continue to support its Java development environment -- ie. fix bugs -- but is now no longer developing it, according to sources close to the company's Visual Studio team. Instead, users will be given the option of porting their code over to Cool. How Cool will be released is not yet known. For instance, to what extent will Microsoft actually allude to the product as a Java alternative -- or simply push it as a superior way of accessing COM technology? More news as we get it... ®

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