Sun, HP Partner on Java ME for Smart Phones

Sun handled development of the Java Virtual Machine for HP's new smartphone, saving HP the effort and avoiding fragmentation at the same time.

Sun Microsystems is looking to reduce the fragmentation of Java Platform Micro Edition Java ME) and its first step is to offer a compiled binary to Hewlett-Packard for its new HP iPAQ 900 series of Business Messenger smartphones.

Sun Engineering Services handled the development, compile and testing of the Java Wireless Client binaries - Sun's Java ME implementation for wireless handsets - for the iPAQ, working in conjunction with HP to implement a specific feature set.

The Sun Java Wireless Client software integrates with the Windows Mobile 6.1 native user interface, enabling customers to view e-mail in the original HTML format and access contact information, among other features.

Normally, Sun delivers a code base to Java ME licensees, and they do their own development, testing and tuning. However, this has allowed fragmentation to creep into the product line as different cell phone makers introduced their own changes.

By delivering a binary, Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) kills two birds with one stone; it prevents these fragmentations, and it takes the load off HP, or any other licensee that chooses to undertake a similar effort, freeing the company to focus on its phone.

"What it amounts to is vendors like HP want the Java virtual machine on their platform, but the question is where is their expertise on the phone best spent?" said David Hopert, group marketing manager for Java mobile technology at Sun.

Minimizing fragmentation

"What they have done is handed over to us the duties of optimizing so they spend a lot less time of making Java run well. We in turn can minimize the amount of bugs and fragmentation that get into the phone," he added.

All HP (NYSE: HPQ) has to do is connect the completed VM to its own internal applications. The two companies coordinated their development cycles, sharing builds to insure compatibility along the way and make sure nothing has changed.

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