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IBM and Sun 'agree to disagree' on Java

IBM says it has come to a "special agreement" with Sun Microsystems that enables it to enjoy all of the branding opportunities afforded other Java 2 Enterprise Edition licensees, even though it isn't one of them. The reason is, rather, the amount of intellectual property IBM has contributed.

IBM still fundamentally believes that Java should be separated from Sun and that the language should be turned over to an appropriate standards body that would govern direction and development, rather than be governed by a process over which Sun has ultimate sanction.

"A standards body should be the proprietor of Java," IBM told the451, but said the two companies have "agreed to differ." IBM hopes that in the due course of events, peer pressure and market momentum will compel Sun to open up the Java development process.

Java is a crucial tenet of IBM's technology lexicon going forward. The use of Linux should ensure the portability of an operating system and XML the portability of data, while Java should ensure the portability of code.

If there's any sense that the Java application server vendors, including IBM, BEA, Sun and SilverStream, are in any way fragmenting the market by creating their own proprietary APIs and products on top of Java, it's only because the industry is awaiting a new 1.3 cut of J2EE and version 2.0 of Enterprise Java Beans in the next couple of months, according to IBM.

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