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HP, Dell do Java desktop deals with Sun

Write once, run everywhere” was Java’s original motto, but "everywhere," over time, has proved hard to find. A late but major step to change that occurred at JavaOne this week when Sun announced that desktop giants Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell would ship the latest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) on PCs.

Richard Green, VP of Sun developer tools and Java software, and Jonathan Schwartz, executive VP of the Software Group, told attendees at JavaOne that the Java platform will now be shipped on all Dell computers and laptops running the Linux operating system.

At the same time, Schwartz said HP will place the Java runtime on a broad range of business and consumer desktop and notebook PCs, starting as early as the third quarter of this year.

Despite Java’s success on the server side, it has lagged on desktops. Sun and Microsoft are locked in a court battle that could well affect the larger fate of Java on the desktop side.

Support from Microsoft is deemed to be needed for Java to become a full-fledged citizen on the client machine. Sun and Microsoft have at times this year appeared to be close to negotiating a way to place the Sun-approved Java virtual machine inside shipping copies of Windows. But an agreement on this has not been achieved.

Parts of some judgments aimed at remedying Microsoft's anti-competitive practices have called for the Redmond, Wash.-based software concern to add standard Java to its OS offering. The firm has also been barred from placing too difficult a set of contractual constraints upon hardware OEMs, such as HP and Dell, that install Windows on the machines they ship.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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