Sun signs up five more OEMs for Java

Sun Microsystems Inc. has signed up five more hardware makers in its quest to prevent Java from being shut out of the personal computer.

The Santa Clara, California, company on Tuesday will announce deals with Acer Inc., Gateway Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Tsinghua Tongfang Co. Ltd. that will see the latest version of Java's virtual machine, called the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE), installed on computers sold by the hardware makers.

Microsoft Corp. stopped distributing Java as part of its Windows XP operating system in February of this year, and its deal to ship Java with its other operating systems is set to expire in January of 2004, according to Rich Green, Sun's vice president of developer platforms.

This spring, Sun began signing deals with hardware vendors in an effort to prevent Java from disappearing from the PC space. Before this latest announcement, it had already reached deals with Apple Computer Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Lindows.com Inc.

Keeping Java on the PC desktop is important to its viability as a development platform, said Green. "The developer community and consumers and Web sites are best served by having access to the latest versions of Java to build the best applications they can," he said.

Tuesday's announcement means that more than half of the PC desktops and notebooks sold will now include the latest version of J2SE, according to Green.

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