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27 May 2009, 16:50

JavaOne outlook: Microsoft to give first keynote speech

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This year's JavaOne conference will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week. Sun's 14th annual JavaOne conference for Java developers will, as usual, lure approximately 15,000 developers to California. Times, however, have changed a little, in that this year's conference is the first at which a keynote speech will be given by Microsoft. The speech by Microsoft Vice President Dan'l Lewin will examine software and services cooperation between the two companies in the cloud computing field and in platform interoperability.

Five years ago a keynote speech from Microsoft would have been unthinkable. The two companies spent long periods locked in antitrust disputes. In 2004 they agreed on a billion dollar compensation deal and agreed to pay each other licensing fees for the use of each other's technologies. Since then Microsoft has regularly exhibited at JavaOne and the two companies have raised a glass to a series of projects, primarily in the field of interoperability.

Hot topics are likely to include the ongoing direction of Sun's JavaFX rich internet technology and the integration of other programming languages capable of running on the Java Virtual Machine (Groovy, JRuby, Jython, Scala, Clojure). Other issues include various Eclipse technologies (Sun has previously avoided joining the Eclipse Foundation, whereas Oracle has long been an active member), the Google App Engine cloud services environment, which has recently added support for the Java platform and the fragmentation of Java Micro Edition (Java ME). Finally, Sun will present its Java App Store, an online shop for Java applications, with a business model comparable to that of Apple, Google and Nokia.

An article on IT news service InfoWorld speculates as to whether next week's JavaOne conference will be the last. After Oracle's $7.4 billion take over of Sun it may have little interest in running two separate major conferences. The Oracle OpenWorld conference is similar in size and is also held at the Moscone Center.


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