Feeds

The day Microsoft 'embraced and extended' Java

Infamy, infamy...

High performance access to file storage

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.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.