Sun Sets Sights On Wireless Web Services Market

Microsoft's foe is expected to announce a new set of J2ME standards for digital phones at its JavaOne conference.
Software vendors are firing the opening salvo in what is sure to be the next round of battles between Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Corp. by announcing support for Sun's Web services framework over the airwaves.

Sun, developer of the Java 2 platform enterprise edition (J2EE), is expected to announce a series of standards Monday morning at its JavaOne Developer's Conference in San Francisco that signal the beginning of a long-awaited confrontation between .Net and J2EE technology using handsets.

Until recently, Sun has been mum on its specific wireless Web services vision, but experts believe that by the end of the day, that vision will be more clearly defined. Standards for the Java2 Platform, micro edition (J2ME) have been around for nearly a year and open the door to a host of applications in the wireless world previously unknown.

At least initially, .Net has been winning the publicity battle with Microsoft launching an aggressive campaign to showcase its Web service framework. Sun, on the other hand, has remained relatively low-key, building consensus within the J2EE community.

Patricia Sueltz, Sun software systems group executive vice president, said its a combination of good technology and open standards that make J2EE and J2ME a hit with developers.

"Java technology has established itself as the platform of choice for developing Web services through a combination of platform independence, open XML based interfaces, an inherently secure architecture, and a collaborative community-based process for expanding the technology to address new needs and markets," she said.

To date, a wireless phone's programs and functions were limited to what the carrier thought people wanted. Now, corporations can marry up their own universal description, discovery and integration (UDDI) libraries with wireless phones to provide a host of applications.

News from Nextel and Motorola

Nextel Communications took the first shot of the day, announcing early Monday the launch of its mobile application manager, which lets Nextel customers manage and distribute their own Web service tools.

Also announced Monday was Motorola's download server for enterprise, a similar Java-based wireless Web service to Nextel's product.

Mike Bordelon, Motorola Internet software and content group corporate vice president and general manager, said the new download server for wireless phones is the next stage in evolution for Motorola's existing phone applications.

"The launch of the J2ME Download Server by Motorola showcases our commitment to creating an expansive J2ME application library, as well as the products that will support them,'' he said. "With the launch of this server, Motorola can build on the strengths of its past commercial deployments and its existing infrastructure to support the largest number of active users in North America."

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