Microsoft to talk .Net at Java conference

For the first time since its legal settlement with Sun, Microsoft plans to participate in a number of technical sessions at this year's JavaOne conference.

For the first time since settling its long-standing legal dispute with Sun Microsystems, Microsoft will be a full-fledged participant in the JavaOne developer conference, which is being held in San Francisco next month.

Microsoft representatives would participate in a handful of technical sessions, and the company was even shelling out for a booth at the annual Java event, a product manager with Microsoft, Brian Keller, said.

Microsoft and Sun are now more than a year into a collaboration agreement that has produced more rhetoric than tangible results to date. But by making a number of joint appearances at the show, Sun and Microsoft will give the Java development community a rare chance to ask both companies questions simultaneously.

"With the agreement, we have been taking a more concerted approach to seeing how we can mend the fences," Keller said.

Though last year's JavaOne came three months after the two companies settled their differences, Microsoft did not have a formal presence at the 2004 JavaOne, Keller said.

At JavaOne 2005, however, the mend the fences approach will be manifest. Microsoft plans to participate in six JavaOne sessions, including one entitled, On the Couch with Sun and Microsoft. This will represent the first time the two companies have discussed .Net and Java interoperability at the show, according to the JavaOne website.

Java developers expecting groundbreaking developments from Microsoft are likely to be disappointed, however. Keller said his company had no major announcements planned for the show.

"It's really about getting in front of customers," he said.

Though Microsoft has been a pariah to some of these customers for years, Keller said his company expected a hospitable reception.

"I don't think we're going to be going down and packing bulletproof vests or anything like that," he said.

In the past, Microsoft representatives had done just fine walking into similar competitive environments, including the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, he said.

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Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
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