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Microsoft going to JavaOne

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Having braved the open source faithful at LinuxWorld, Microsoft is turning its attention to Java, with plans for a formal presence at JavaOne next month.

Microsoft's appearance at Sun Microsystems' annual Java jamboree in San Francisco will be the first since the companies settled their differences and agreed to work on interoperability between products and technologies last year.

Microsoft has appeared at JavaOne only once before, in 1996 when Microsoft licensed Sun's Java in an appearance that Sun called "very low key". A year later, the companies locked horns over Microsoft's decision to, er, "optimize" its implementation of Java for Windows and the rest of us got to watch.

This time around, Microsoft is forking over $20,000 in sponsorship for a 15ft by 15ft show-floor booth, with plans for a joint keynote with Sun on interoperability between Java and .NET that is followed by a series of breakout sessions.

Ben Lenail, Sun's director of corporate strategy and development, and the lead on Sun's relationship with Microsoft, said the companies plan to demonstrate interoperability between Java and .NET at the WSDL level.

Microsoft denies it is on a mission to tempt weak Java Jedi to the .NET dark side and will simply educate developers and architects about interoperability - even though Microsoft does plan to hand-out free copies of the Visual Studio 2005 second beta on CD.

"That's off the radar," Visual Studio program manager Brian Keller told El Reg when asked whether Microsoft would use the event to seek fresh converts. "If someone wants to talk to us about the merits of .NET we will have that conversation. But when we attend other events, it's primarily about interoperability," Keller said.

Keller added while Microsoft's presence will raise more than a few eyebrows, based on earlier experiences at LinuxWorld, he expects attendees will get over it.

"People don't expect to see you the there. But once they start talking to you, we have a valuable conversation and both parties walk away with something," Keller said.®

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