RealTime IT News

Sun's PersonalJava Gets Further Nod From TCI

Under a newly expanded agreement, Sun Microsystems, Inc. said its PersonalJava environment will be specified as a standard programming language in Tele-Communications, Inc.'s (TCI) line of digital set-top boxes.

The announcement which was made Wednesday at the National Cable TV Association (NCTA) Conference furthers an agreement between the two companies signed in January.

The deal follows Monday's Microsoft alliance with TCI, under which Microsoft will license at least 5 million copies of the Windows CE OS and other software to TCI's National Digital Television Center (NDTC) for TCI's digital set-top devices.

As part of the Sun Microsystems-TCI alliance, Sun said it will provide a software port of the PersonalJava environment for the devices on which Microsoft's WinCE OS will be used.

TCI also said it has the option to license Sun's JavaOS for Consumers operating system and will support Sun's JavaTV Application Programming Interface (API).

"Every WinCE set-top and any device TCI intends to ship with the JavaOS for Consumers operating system will be running the PersonalJava environment. This is a colossal win for consumers and the JavaTM platform," said Scott McNealy, chairman, CEO and president of Sun Microsystems, Inc., in a statement.

"The security, portability and scalability of the Java technology environment brings unique value to the marketplace. And with the leadership of market makers like TCI with General Instrument, Motorola, Scientific Atlanta and Sony, it is quickly becoming the highest volume content and application environment in the world."

The Java security model enables cable service providers to control the functions of applications that are downloaded into a customer's set top box, Sun said. This translates into tighter control for service providers who will know which of the applets running is digitally signed with a secure certificate.