WHY SUN'S JAVA IS HOT

SUN'S RADICALLY NEW PROGRAMMING TOOL COULD SHIFT THE BALANCE OF POWER IN COMPUTERS

SUN MICROSYSTEMS HAD a problem on its hands. One of the company's brightest software developers had created a new computer-programming language called Oak that nobody seemed to want. Originally designed for writing control software for the computer chips that run microwave ovens and other state-of-the-art household appliances, it had been reconfigured several times over the past five years--for cable-TV set-top boxes, for video-game machines, for personal computer CD-ROMS. But every time it looked as if Oak might finally find a home, the deal somehow fell through. Even its name was a problem: it couldn't be protected by trademark because hundreds of...

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