Let the "I love Jini" jokes begin: Sun Microsystems president and CEO Scott McNealy announced Wednesday that his company will debut its Jini technology on January 25th. Jini is a Java-based distributed computing model that provides the infrastructure for pervasive networking. In other words, Jini objects--which can be cameras, computers, printers, whatever--will have a means of identifying themselves whenever they're connected to a network, so that they can be used anywhere and everywhere. The concept behind Jini is that the network is not centrally managed but rather run like a "singles bar" where objects would arrive, announce themselves, and seek out other objects.
Sun is positioning Jini as the solution to my "Windows Era Is Over" opinion piece from a few weeks back; It is the central piece in a larger puzzle that could quite possibly change the way everyone interfaces with computers.
And, on that note, Microsoft is of course working on their own COM-based infrastructure that would do the same thing. The reason Jini is so exciting, however, is that it is based on an open standard--Java--and is (almost) ready today.
For more information about Jini, please visit the Jini Web site