REDMOND, Wash. — , Dec. 7, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of its latest Java Virtual Machine for the Microsoft® Windows® operating system, which continues to be the fastest execution environment for Java. According to widely used performance benchmarks, Microsoft's latest Virtual Machine outperforms competitors' most recent offerings by 30 percent or more. In addition, this version expands the options for developers who choose to integrate applications written in Java with the vast diversity of Windows-based software and services. An update to the Virtual Machine for Windows that shipped with Internet Explorer 4 is also being made available. Both of these versions include support for the Java Native Interface (JNI) to be in compliance with the recent ruling in the San Jose Federal District Court.
"By addressing the key customer requirements for faster performance and better integration with the rest of the computing environment, we've been able to make Windows the best place to run Java applications," said Tod Nielsen, general manager of developer relations at Microsoft. "We want to give developers the broadest choice in using Java to meet unique customer needs and achieve success in the marketplace."
Virtual Machine Offers Record-Breaking Performance and Broad Functionality
This release is the latest version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine, which for two consecutive years has won the PC Magazine Editor's Choice award for being the fastest and most compatible implementation in the industry. In addition to a new Just-In-Time Compiler that extends the Virtual Machine's performance leadership, this release also includes a number of new enhancements for developers. These enhancements speed the applications development cycle and simplify the integration of code written in Java with other languages, applications and services. The new Virtual Machine also continues to support both cross-platform applets as well as full-fledged Windows-based applications written in Java, providing customers with the widest possible range of solutions.
Customers will gain the following benefits from this latest Virtual Machine:
Fastest execution environment for Java. In addition to setting a new record on the Caffeinemark benchmark for Java, Microsoft's latest Virtual Machine outperforms other implementations on the JMark, SpecJava and VolanoMark benchmarks. Smaller memory requirements and faster start-up time make it the most efficient solution for developers and end users. The new Virtual Machine also includes performance enhancements to speed the execution of Java components on the server using Active Server Pages and Microsoft Transaction Server technology.
Pioneering functionality. The Microsoft Virtual Machine has been the first in the industry to support a variety of innovations. These include a granular permissions-based security model, the package manager for installing extensions, state-of-the-art debugging and profiling support to speed the development process, full internationalization and input method editor support, and a rich set of user interface widgets.
The Windows experience. For both end users and developers, the Microsoft Virtual Machine assists Java software to act as a first-class citizen within Windows. Customers of Windows benefit from the integrated installation expected of Windows-based software as well as the familiar Windows interface. This is enabled by the intrinsic user interface controls of the Windows Foundation Classes (WFC).
JNI support. JNI joins the Raw Native Interface and the J/Direct ™ API as mechanisms to help developers meld the productivity of the Java language with native services in Windows and software written in other languages.
COM integration. This release further expands Java support for the Component Object Model (COM), the industry's most widely used technology for building reusable software components. Enhancements make it even easier to build COM components in Java that can be used with a wide variety of the most popular software titles, such as Microsoft Office, Lotus Notes or on the server within Microsoft Transaction Server technology. Further, COM components written in Java can be easily integrated with software created with other languages.
Y2K and euro support. The latest Microsoft Virtual Machine is Y2K-compliant and provides currency support for the European Monetary Union's new euro.
"As a Java developer, I've always preferred Microsoft's Virtual Machine because it provides the most functionality and best performance," said Eric Carlson, chief technology officer at Silknet Corp. "In practice, Microsoft's Virtual Machine offers the best of both worlds - the best support for basic, cross-platform Java and the ability to take full advantage of Windows."
This new Virtual Machine is available for customers with Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT® operating systems. Developers can immediately download this latest release of the Microsoft Virtual Machine for Java at no charge (connect-time charges may apply) from http://www.microsoft.com/java/ . An update to the version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine for Windows that shipped with Internet Explorer 4 is also available from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/mach.htm for end users who want to add just JNI support to their browser.
Internet Explorer users on the Macintosh and UNIX platforms who want JNI support can refer to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/mach.htm for information on using the native platform Virtual Machine that provides such support.
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