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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anti-Microsoft Alliance Names Cooperation Deals

NEW YORK -- Now that Apple Computer Inc. has defected, Microsoft Corp.'s remaining opponents have struck a series of deals to tighten their alliance against the dominant maker of personal computer software.

IBM, Sun Microsystems and Netscape Communications last Tuesday moved to coordinate their work on a universal language for developing software that works on any computer system -- not just Microsoft's Windows.

The three companies said their engineers will work together to make sure Sun's Java language smoothly runs software formatted for different computers, ranging from Windows to Sun machines. And they'll fine-tune the language to lessen problems, as well as time new releases so software developers get the latest versions at the same time.

In another move, Netscape plans to use Sun technology in its Internet browser, a competitor of Microsoft's browser, to improve how it works with software written in the Java language.

In a third Java push, Sun announced licensing deals with three big telephone equipment makers that plan to use Java software in new phones, dubbed webphones, that can tap into the Internet.

And Sun, Netscape and several other high-tech companies -- with the notable exception of Microsoft -- proposed a technical standard aimed at helping to unclog bottlenecks that have slowed the flow of information across the Internet.

The agreements, unveiled at a New York trade show devoted to Java software, come after Apple shocked the computer world by agreeing to an alliance with archrival Microsoft that includes a deal to develop a programming language that will compete with Java.

For businesses, "run-anywhere'' software would relieve a costly and time-consuming problem: The need to develop and maintain software for a variety of machines, to teach employees how to use different programs and to get the mishmash of systems to work together.

The new Internet standard proposed by Sun, Netscape and others to unclog network bottlenecks enables faster updating of information sent across the net.