Microsoft is running scared from Java

Well, it seems that not everything Microsoft touches turns to gold. The company had planned on announcing an event called "D-Day" this week, but cancelled the announcement. D-Day was to kick-off a major re-launch of Windows (apparently), and would have coincided with the Scalability Day introductions and demonstrations due May 20. D-Day was designed to show-off new scalability features in Windows and highlight defects in the Java NC concept. Other announcements--now in limbo--would have included extensions to COM and something called Distributed Network Architecture (DNA). DNA is a specification for running applications on the full gamut of Windows operating systems, from the Windows CE thin client all the way up to multi-processor versions of NT.

In short, D-Day was designed to steal thunder from Java.

"We have a solid asset in this thing called Windows," said an unidentified source at Microsoft. "So how do we invest and further that platform and still respond to the cross-platform needs that make Java and the NC so popular? That's what we have to figure out."

Rumors abound about Microsoft's indecisiveness regarding Java. According to sources, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates recently snapped at attendees of a strategy meeting, saying "Has anyone here heard of Windows?" Apparently, the company is torn between accepting Java whole-heartedly and trashing support all together. The company denies that it is rewriting core Windows technologies in Java, however:

"The notion of writing core parts of Windows in Java is particularly funny; it would only be slower, fatter and less capable," said Senior Vice President Brad Silverberg. "We don't think that's the right way to develop superior operating systems."

Regardless, there are also rumors that the next version of Office 97 is being co-developed in a component-based Java version "just in case." And DCOM, Microsoft's primary strategy for delivering components across any network--including the Internet--is being rewritten in Java too.

One thing is certain: if Microsoft is secretly working to create Java programs and technologies, they are doing it as a contingency and not as a primary push to embrace Java. This is something they don't want anyone to know about and details are vague: If Java and some sort of JavaOS does take off, expect Microsoft to be right in the middle of it, acting as if they had planned for that transition all along

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