Microsoft Signs Letter of Intent to License Java Technology
December 7, 1995- Today Microsoft has announced that it has signed a letter of intent
with Sun for a Java technology source license and that Sun and Microsoft are working
through the licensing details. In addition, Microsoft has agreed in principle to
provide to Sun Microsoft's reference implementation of the Java virtual machine
and AAPI (applet application programming interface) for Windows.
We are happy to be working with Microsoft on a license for the Java technology
and look forward to working with them on optimizing the Java technology for Windows.
Microsoft plans to use Java in its Explorer browser, and also has indicated to
As with other significant announcements of the past few weeks, and assuming a
final agreement is reached, the Microsoft announcement is significant because:
- By integrating Java into their Explorer browser, Microsoft will be providing
Java to a huge base of previously untapped Windows users.
- Microsoft, as part of the proposed agreement, plans to improve the Win 95
port and will share with Sun a reference implementation, which we can then share
with our customers.
- It's a major endorsement from the world's largest software firm that our
Internet technology is top notch.
- It's further proof that Java has become the de facto open standard for programming
on the Internet.
- With Java Sun has established the first programming language that is not
tied to any particular operating system or microprocessor. This means that applications
written in Java will run anywhere, eliminating one of the biggest headaches
for computer users: incompatibility between operating systems and versions of
It has been a historic week at Sun:
- On Monday, we announced a joint effort with Netscape that we intend to work
be aimed at non-programmers who wish to create web pages that use Java applets.
- On Monday, we also announced that we plan to work with Silicon Graphics
and Macromedia to develop common multimedia application programming interfaces
(APIs) and file formats for Java that integrate 3D and interactivity. They will
be based on Java from Sun and VRML from SGI.
- We also announced with Netscape and SGI a mutual endorsement of VRML, Java
- On Wednesday, IBM announced that it has licensed the Java technology, and
plans to port it to the AIX, OS/2 and Win 3.1 platforms.
- Also on Wednesday, Adobe announced that it had licensed Java and that it
will integrate Java into its PageMill authoring tools and Adobe Acrobat.
- Finally on Wednesday, Sybase announced its intention to license the Java
technology for use with its databases and commercial tools.