Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive of Sun Microsystems, has extended an open invitation to Microsoft and Red Hat to join the Java Community Process (JCP).
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Speaking at the 2004 JavaOne conference in San Francisco he also stressed that Sun, which has struggled financially lately, is not going away.
The JCP provides a procedure for proposing and amending the Java platform. While noting that Sun and Microsoft have been working behind the scenes to better co-operate, in line with a recent agreement, McNealy nonetheless urged both Microsoft and Red Hat to join the JCP.
"I encourage both of these organisations to come to class and to participate and to contribute," McNealy said.
McNealy said Sun and Microsoft have been working on efforts such as directory interoperability, to enable users to log in to both .net and Java environments simultaneously.
An announcement about phase 1 of interoperability between Sun and Microsoft is expected this summer, McNealy said. Microsoft is not participating in the JavaOne conference, though, according to Microsoft representatives.
Sun has been a good steward of Java, McNealy said, defending the company's position to not release Java under an open source format. "Somebody's got to be in charge or nobody is," he said.
He criticised IBM for calling for Java to be open source, stressing that IBM has been lacking in open source contributions while Sun has been a major contributor.
McNealy defended Sun's financial position, saying the company has had 22% year-on-year growth in server unit volumes in the past three quarters. Sun is not going away, he stressed.
The company has about $7.5bn (£4.1) in cash in the bank and an installed base that has provided $131bn in revenue to Sun to date.
Sun, however, posted a net loss of $760m for its third financial quarter of 2004, which ended March 28, and posted a net loss of $125m for the quarter before that.
Paul Krill writes for Infoworld