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New version of Java for mobile expected this year

By Nancy Gohring
February 15, 2006 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - The next generation of Java for mobile phones should become available in the middle of 2006, with handsets featuring applications built with the new version expected to reach the market at the end of 2006 or early 2007, Sun Microsystems Inc. said Wednesday at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.

The Java Community Process, which determines which features and functions are included in different forms of Java, has been working on defining the next version of Java for mobile phones, said Eric Chu, senior director of mobile and embedded systems at Sun. The new version will allow developers to create applications that can take advantage of additional capabilities on handsets, such as Bluetooth or location information, Chu said. Java contributors continually define such new features, and every few years the features are collected and wrapped into a new version of Java, he said.

Companies like Vodafone Group PLC, Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc. have been involved in the development process and are already working on handsets with the new Java, Chu said. That explains the relatively short time expected between the release of the new version and the release of handsets, he said.

At the 3GSM World Congress, Sun also announced a partnership with Openwave Systems Inc. to integrate Java for mobile phones with Openwave's markup language. The integration enables developers to build applications using Java and Openwave's language based on XML, and link between the two, said Jon McCormack, senior vice president of engineering at Openwave.

Most handsets, even the low-end mass market phones, include Java Virtual Machine to enable Java applications and are capable of displaying applications written in Openwave's markup language, Chu said. By linking the two, Sun and Openwave expect that application developers can bring more interesting content and applications to mass market phone users, McCormack said.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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