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December 1999 Sun Microsystems publicly released a series of eighty mini-programs known as Java 2 Enterprise Edition J2EE which are designed to enhance large corporate servers This two-year project had been undertaken by numerous programmers from dozens of companies working together on what they believed to be an open-source project to enhance the Web-wise Java language created by Sun Many of these companies now feel betrayed because Sun Microsystems is attempting to levy a royalty against the new release This decision has especially elicited an angry response from IBM -- Suns biggest Java partner which developed 80 of the new release IBM has taken the lead in its refusal to pay the new fees and many smaller companies are following its lead This latest incident accents the tenuous Java alliance and highlights problems within the open-source movement ie LinuxKwhen the profit motive takes over companies stop playing nice Java was developed by Sun Microsystems to counter the Microsoft Windows monopoly Programs written in Java are essentially universally adaptable to run on any type of hardware regardless of underlying operating system Sun released the technical specifications for open-source use but still controls the coding standard and Java name This practice is at the heart of the latest uproar Companies who develop software using the Java 2 Enterprise Edition must pass a series of Sun compatibility tests while paying three percent of total sales to use the J2EE seal Sun contends this fee is necessary to defray costs of the Java franchise Within the past four months only five of two-hundred Java licensees have signed up -- IBM not being one of them Well support the J2EE extensions -- but we wont use the J2EE brand says Rodney Smith of IBMs Java group Forbes contends the real issue in this corporate contest is not about royalties -- it is about control Although IBM was a major player in J2EE development Sun Microsystems ultimately dictates Java specifications compatibility
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