Microsoft will use Java to port Win32 to other platforms

According to Information Week, Microsoft is busy porting key portions of the Win32 API to Java. The APIs are being converted into Java class libraries that will be integrated in a future version of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine. "This is exactly what \[Microsoft was\] looking for: Windows everywhere," says Information Week's source. "Here's a JVM that works anywhere you want, and all you need to buy is Windows desktop development tools."

Interestingly, the APIs will be ported to other unnamed platforms as well, allowing developers to code to one API and have their apps run on several different platforms, not just Windows. "Portability is the idea," says the source. "The idea is that the Windows API can get a free ride to other platforms. It causes all kinds of interesting dynamics."

Microsoft's tools will also take part in this sudden embrace of Java. The next version of Visual Basic--code-named "Vegas"--will be able to automatically generate Java byte-code as easily as native code.

"They're very, very close to having testable code," says the project manager of a Fortune 500 enterprise site who has been briefed on the project . "It wasn't hard for them to plug-in the Java code compiler. Today, \[Visual Basic 5.0\] compiles to C++ code. This is the same thing, only \[it uses\] Java \[instead of C++\]."

Microsoft will likely announce and demonstrate the interim upgrade to Visual Basic at the TechEd conference in Orlando next month, according to the report

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