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Microsoft Releases Beta 2 of Visual J# .NET

Microsoft launched the Beta 2 release of its Visual J# .NET tool this week, continuing its battle for developers with Sun Microsystems.

Sun took the fight back to the courtroom a few weeks ago by filing a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging a number of illegal actions. The Visual J# .NET tool figured prominently in the new Sun lawsuit. Sun and Microsoft settled an earlier Sun lawsuit over Java in early 2001.

"Sun has referenced the [Visual J# .NET] tool in their lawsuit, but they have no basis for doing so except in furthering their acts of desperation," says Tony Goodhew, product manager for Microsoft .NET. Goodhew contends that the lawsuit will have no effect on Visual J# .NET.

Microsoft positions Visual J# .NET as a way for "Java-language" developers to write applications for the Microsoft .NET Framework in a familiar language.

However, new caveats in Microsoft's written statements about the Visual J# .NET tool specify that Visual J# .NET applications will not run on any Java virtual machine. Microsoft's statements also note that Visual J# .NET "is not endorsed or approved in any way by Sun Microsystems Inc.

The tool is on a different track from the rest of the Visual Studio .NET integrated development environment and the .NET Framework. Microsoft formally delivered those pieces in February.

Goodhew says Microsoft just ended up behind the Visual Studio ship schedule with Visual J# .NET, which is supposed to ship in the middle of this year.

For now, users who buy Visual Studio .NET get a coupon for Visual J# .NET when it ships. "In the future, we'll actually be on the same schedule," Goodhew says.

Microsoft delivered the first beta of Visual J# .NET in October, along with other pieces of its JUMP to .NET initiative to lure Java developers away from Sun's Java language and J2EE platform.

The Beta 2 version of Visual J# .NET includes several enhancements, Goodhew says. They include compatibility with the shipping version of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework, expanded samples and documentation, an improved upgrade wizard, and a more feature-complete compiler.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.