Feeds

The day Microsoft 'embraced and extended' Java

Infamy, infamy...

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Myths and legends It's early December 1995 and it has been a heady few days for Java. IBM and Adobe Systems have agreed to license this strange and embryonic new software that Sun Microsystems keeps telling us can be "written once and run anywhere".

Two days before, Sun and Netscape had announced JavaScript that - according to the press release - was: "Analogous to Visual Basic in that it can be used by people with little or no programming experience to quickly construct complex applications."

Now December 7 is dawning bright and blue over America's Pacific coast, and with it breaks the news that startles an industry. "Today Microsoft has announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Sun for a Java technology source license... Microsoft has agreed in principle to provide to Sun Microsoft's reference implementation of the Java virtual machine," said Java software division director of corporate marketing George Paolini.

"We are happy to be working with Microsoft on a license for the Java technology and look forward to working with them on optimizing the Java technology for Windows," Sun said in an official release.

On the same day, though, Bill Gates gave the keynote at Microsoft's Internet Strategy Workshop, an event he used to outline his company's internet strategy. It was the height of Microsoft's "embrace and extend" policy. "We will embrace all the popular internet protocols," said Gates. "Anything that a significant number of publishers are using and taking advantage of we will support. We will do some extensions to those things."

Java was a case in point. At the same moment Paolini was stating that "applications written in Java will run anywhere," Gates was making no secret of Microsoft's intention to create extensions for Windows. Microsoft later made public the full text of its March 1996 agreement, which provides for the licensee to "make, access, use, copy, view, display, modify, adapt, and create derivative works of the technology."

Microsoft was quick to deliver such extensions, presenting a design preview the following May. A press release emphasized how Java integrates with ActiveX, Windows-specific components. "Developers will be able to write Java applets that work with ActiveX Controls... developers can also use Java to create ActiveX Controls that work with ActiveX Controls written in other programming languages. All of these will run seamlessly on the Java reference implementation in Windows," Microsoft said.

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.