Netscape and Sun to build 100% Pure Navigator

Sun President and CEO Scott McNealy opened the first Java Internet Business Expo today in New York with the news that Sun and Netscape are collaborating on a new 100% Pure Java version of Navigator that will run on Java devices, bypassing the need for an operating system like Windows. The two companies are also working on a common HTML JavaBean component that will allow Web pages to look the same in any browser, so that pages will not be optimized for certain operating systems or browsers.

"The page will look best on your screen, not a \[particular\] OS," McNealy said.

Netscape will use parts of Sun's HotJava browser to develop Java version of Navigator Web browser by "the early part of next year," said Netscape spokeswoman Jennifer O'Mahony. "We're not using someone else's browser as much as we're using Java technology to help us ship it in a more aggressive time frame," she said.

In return, Sun will ship Netscape Navigator as the standard Web browser with all of its products.

Sun's biggest goal for Java is a common code base, which McNealy claims the company will deliver with the JDK 1.2 late this year. He also demoed numerous new Java devices, including smart cards, a set-top box, and even a $60 ring user can wear to identify themselves via an embedded Java chip so that security locks will open automatically, for example.

"You're going to see Java in devices you've never seen before," McNealy predicted. "The message here with Java is this is something beyond developers, and at this point is moving toward a tool to help companies get their job done."

McNealy, who claims to use a JavaStation and pure Java for all his own computing said, "Our role is one of stewardship, to keep the technology open and to build the test fixtures so we don't lose the cross-platform compatibility of Java.

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