Microsoft Releases Latest SDK for Java

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 7, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate, worldwide availability of the Microsoft® Software Development Kit (SDK) for Java, version 2.0. The SDK includes final versions of Microsoft’s high-performance virtual machine, the Microsoft Application Foundation Classes (AFC) and J/Direct, which allows developers to meld the productivity of the Java programming language with the rich functionality of the Windows® operating system.

This release further solidifies Microsoft’s position by delivering the most comprehensive and highest-performance implementation of the Java programming language in the industry.

“This release of the SDK includes Microsoft’s second-generation technologies for the Java programming language,” said Tod Nielsen, general manager of developer relations at Microsoft. “With the industry-leading performance of the Microsoft virtual machine and the ability to fully optimize customers’ investments in hardware and software via J/Direct, developers can now deliver a new breed of applications with the Java programming language that take full advantage of the power of Windows.”

“Microsoft has done a great job delivering the highest-performance Java available for the Windows platform and an equally great job supporting our developers,” said Arny Epstein, chief technology officer of Silverstream Software Inc. in Burlington, Mass. “By adopting the Microsoft virtual machine, we realized a significant improvement in performance and reliability for our JDK 1.1-based Silverstream Web Application Platform.”

AFC, also available in the SDK, is a comprehensive set of class libraries, written in the Java programming language, that makes it very easy for developers to create modern-looking Java applications with state-of-the-art user interfaces that meet customer expectations. AFC ships with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and is slated to ship with Windows-based PCs and Macintosh systems in the future, providing Java developers with the broadest possible audience for their applications. Less than a week after the shipment of Internet Explorer 4.0, AFC already boasts an installed base of millions of users.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Delivers Fastest, Most Comprehensive Java

The final version of the Microsoft SDK for Java, version 2.0, also includes the latest version of the Microsoft virtual machine, which is now shipping with Internet Explorer 4.0. This next-generation Microsoft virtual machine makes Windows and Internet Explorer the best place to run Java applications by offering the industry’s fastest Java performance and richest functionality. Benefits of the latest Microsoft virtual machine include the following:

  • Fastest performance for Java code. As measured by the CaffeineMark
    3.0 benchmark, the Microsoft virtual machine runs Java code significantly faster than other virtual machines for Java, extending Microsoft’s Java performance leadership. Recent tests run by PC Magazine also showed Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 to be up to 500 percent faster than competing browsers in running Java Applets.

  • J/Direct for the power and functionality of Windows. J/Direct lets developers call the entire Win32® API or any other dynamic-link library (DLL) directly, without the need to write Java-aware native code wrappers. This dramatically expands the breadth and functionality of applications that can be built with Java and allows Java developers to build applications not possible or practical before, including software integrated with existing applications and system services, multimedia applications and scalable industrial-strength applications.

  • Comprehensive component support. The Microsoft virtual machine offers the industry’s only automatic, bidirectional integration of ActiveX
    technologies and JavaBeans, allowing developers to mix and match components written in Java and other programming languages. As a result, developers have access to the broadest selection of components and gain access to the world’s largest installed base of end users for these components.

  • Exclusive support for the latest JDK 1.1 features. With the inclusion of the new Microsoft virtual machine, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 is the only major browser to ship with critical developer features such as the JDK 1.1 event model and component support.

  • Permissions-based security,
    providing better choices for users. Users or administrators can specify what permissions and levels of access to give to Java Applets. For example, they can give applets from known sources broad access to user files or limit applets from unknown sources to the “sandbox.” Integration with Internet Explorer 4.0’s exclusive Security Zones ensures simple administration.

  • Package management for automatic installation and version control. The Microsoft virtual machine’s package manager handles automatic installation of class libraries and provides version control so Java developers and publishers can automatically deliver updates to users alone or in conjunction with HTML, scripts and/or ActiveX Controls. These features work with any standard Web server, and security is enforced on downloaded libraries.

All of these capabilities make the Microsoft virtual machine the most effective way to run software written in the Java programming language. The Microsoft virtual machine is also the most ubiquitous implementation of Java in the marketplace, with tens of millions of units having shipped with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Windows 95, the Windows NT® operating system and Microsoft Internet Information Server. Versions of the Microsoft virtual machine are also available for the Macintosh and Windows 3.1 and are under development for Windows CE and UNIX.

Developer Support

Microsoft technologies for the Java programming language also enjoy widespread support among Java developers. More than 200 of the leading Java developers in the industry support the Microsoft virtual machine, AFC or J/Direct as part of the Microsoft Developer Network ISV Program, Microsoft’s program for third-party software developers. In addition, all leading Java tools vendors, including Borland International Corp., Metrowerks Inc., NuMega Technologies Inc., ObjectShare, Powersoft Corp., Rational Software Corp. and Supercede Inc., have announced their support for Microsoft Java technologies.

“Microsoft’s implementation of Java delivers the highest level of performance, great debugging capabilities and the ability to integrate Java components with those written in other languages,” said Rob Veitch, director and general manager of Powersoft languages. “Sybase’s enterprise Java tool, PowerJ, takes advantage of Microsoft technology to deliver integrated debugging with Internet Explorer, and the ability to support drag-and-drop programming with both JavaBeans and ActiveX components.”

In addition to supporting Java developers with programs such as the Microsoft Developer Network ISV Program, Microsoft makes the entire Microsoft SDK for Java and additional Java class libraries, documentation and technologies that are not part of the SDK available through the Microsoft Developer Network. Developers can join the Microsoft Developer Network via the Microsoft Web site at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, Win32, ActiveX and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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