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Microsoft exec poo-poos 'Visual J++ dropped' claim

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Microsoft has denied it has sold off its Visual J++ Java development tool and that it has no intention of doing so. The company's statement, made by Tony Goodhew, Visual Studio product manager, follows claims made to Computing by senior sources with Microsoft tools development team that Visual J++ is to be pulled from the next release of Visual Studio. Goodhew reckons the confusion arose through the emergence of something called the Visual Studio Integrators Program (VSIP), a scheme to allow third-parties to offer compilers and other add-ins for Visual Studio. Rational Software, the company the original Microsoft sources said had taken over development of Visual J++, was simply preparing a Java compiler that would operate within Visual Studio, said Goodhew. A simple enough mistake to make, no? And yet, there's a flaw in Goodhew's own logic. "We stand behind the innovations first surfaced in Visual J++ and want to see them continue," he said. "Unfortunately, there is a cloud of doubt over the industry's ability to innovate and advance Java long term. Until we receive and understand some rulings currently pending before the court hearing the Java lawsuit we cannot make announcements on future Visual J++ product strategy." So here we have a Microsoft employee having a dig at Sun (the "ability to innovate" bit) and claiming that the company can make no announcements on its plans for Visual J++ -- at the same time as saying that the plan isn't to sell it off. If Goodhew is so sure of the latter, why the former arse-covering? Could it be that the original sources have something after all? Since Microsoft is preparing a C++ based alternative to Java, dubbed Cool -- as a number of unrelated developer sources have pointed out to The Register -- the future of Visual J++ remains open to question. Certainly Microsoft isn't going to say, one way or the other. ®

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