Sun touts Java Embedded Server 2.0

Connect your home to the Net - now

Sun yesterday released Java for Fridges - aka Java Embedded Server - version 2.0 to loud hurrahs from no one in particular.

JES 2.0 is designed as a back-end for Internet-enabled consumer electronics kit (TVs, hi-fi, VCRs) and white goods (fridges, cookers and central heating boilers) to talk to the Net directly or to connect via a JES-running server, allowing folk to turn the bedroom lights on from any PC, anywhere.

Well, that's the theory, anyway. Since there aren't any such Net-enabled - at least none you can pop out and buy in your local John Lewis or Dixons - JES is destined to remain in obscurity for some time yet. Sun did point out that it has signed a host - more than five - of JES licensees, including deals with Cisco and Siemens, but almost none of them actually offer product that contains the technology.

So, to encourage development, Sun is offering the code for free, along with various programming tools. The licence operates like Sun's standard public Java licence - the code is free up to the point at which products derived from it become commercial entities, when the developer must license the technology.

Version 2.0 of JES adds compliance with the Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGI), an industry body that has defined a spec. to allow appliances and domestic consumer durables to communicate with Net-connected servers. It also includes an updated version of Sun's PersonalJava, 3.0.2, the client-side code. ®

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