IBM last week posted a free Java virtual machine for Windows 32-bit platforms that the company says is the fastest in the business.
The new Java virtual machine, or JVM, can be used in conjunction with Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT to deploy and run Java applications and applets on those platforms, and have them run about 30 percent faster than with currently available JVMs, according to the SPECjvm98 and VolanoMark benchmarks, IBM officials said.
IBM's Win32 JVM employs a third-generation just-in-time (JIT) compiler and mixed-mode interpreter to outflank the competition.
Microsoft claimed it had the fastest JVM for Windows, but has not released new Java technology since being sued by Sun last year over its Java license. Sun is due to release a fee-based HotSpot compiler later this month.
The moves by IBM and other efforts by Novell and Intel to create fast, reliable JVMs and JITs show a broad base of vendor support for greater Java performance on more platforms, said Anne Thomas, an analyst at the Patricia Seybold Group, in Boston.
The new IBM Win32 JVM is designed to quell developers' fears that Java support for Windows would wane should Microsoft back off from supporting Java, as well as to give Sun a run for its money in the JVM and JIT arenas.
IBM is also providing support for makers of programs using the new Win32 JVM, which will include technical and help desk support.
The Win32 JVM will become part of IBM's Java Runtime Environment, included in the company's Java Development Kit.
The IBM Win32 JVM is available at www.ibm.com/java.
IBM already offers JVMs for its own OS/2, AIX, OS/400, and OS/390 platforms.