Hewlett Packard laid its Java cards on the table at its annual user conference last week, when the company gave its first wholehearted commitment to support the language.
Previously, HP has quietly endorsed Java from the sidelines without actively participating in the hype or clarifying its Java strategy.
But the hardware vendor was careful to point out that it would not take sides against close ally Microsoft in the ?keep Java pure? debate, even though MS has been accused of trying to turn the Java effort to its own advantage.
Rick Belluzzo, executive VP of HP?s computer organisation, said the firm?s strategy was to ?embrace and add value? to Java because it was interested in meeting users? needs rather than supporting industry factions.
HP would continue to operate a two-pronged operating system strategy, he added, and would continue to support its own Unix variant, HP/UX, as well as Windows NT, because this was a ?realistic policy in a heterogeneous world?.
According to Belluzzo, the hardware vendor regards Java as a means of making IT more pervasive. ?Information and computing power will be as readily available as utilities,? he said.
As a result, HP will enhance the five core elements of its business ? systems, imaging, software infrastructure, services and distributed printing ? to support the idea of the extended enterprise. This will create an internet-based infrastructure that will enable organisations to re-engineer the way they do business.
HP is working on a pocket-sized, handheld Web server that runs Java and is now at the prototyping stage. Although no release dates were given, Belluzzo described the device as suitable for the extended enterprise.
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