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Microsoft drops J++ for XML-based alternative

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Microsoft has finally dropped its Visual J++ Java development system. However, it appears to be focusing instead on XML and not the Cool tool it had originally envisaged as the successor to J++. For the time being, J++ isn't going away. While there's a strong likelihood that it will be pulled from the Visual Studio suite, according to Microsoft sources cited by Computing, J++ itself has been licensed to tools developer Rational Software, which will continue its development. Of course, Microsoft has been mulling the end of J++ ever since it lost its legal row with Sun over the 'purity' of its Java support. In April, Visual C product manager Jeff Ressler said of J++: "We continue to sell it, and apps built with it will not be subject to any limitations, but its future is not [definite]." Immediately after that, Microsoft began touting an alternative to Java of its own devising, news of which emerged back in February. Codenamed Cool, the anti-Java system was a programming framework providing series of extensions to C++ providing hooks into Windows 2000's COM+ (Common Object Model). The idea was to make C++ as easy to code as Java. According to the Computing report, however, the upcoming Visual Studio 7 relies heavily on XML, and uses a mix of extensible mark-up language and HTTP to invoke methods and objects remotely. How much of Cool will make it to Visual Studio 7 remains to be seem. Cool was to have been officially released earlier this autumn, but it seems likely that the increasing shift in the Internet industry towards XML may well have persuaded Microsoft that Cool's time is past. ®

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