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Asymetrix aims to be ace of applets

The race to provide the fastest Java applets is on, and Asymetrix aims to be in the lead with its high-speed engine.

The race to provide the fastest Java applets is on, and Asymetrix aims to be in the lead with its high-speed Java engine.

The company will ship a commercial release of its SuperCede VM (virtual machine) software to OEMs at the end of July and release a beta version of the software to developers at the end of this month.

In recent months, vendors such as Borland, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Symantec have announced plans to create just-in-time Java compilers that substantially accelerate the performance of applets by converting them to native machine code before they're run. The Java engine currently in products such as Netscape Communcations' Navigator 2.0 browser--which is called the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)--was developed by Sun and is considerably slower than the new just-in-time compilers.

Now Asymetrix says it will leave all current Java engines in the dust with SuperCede, a compiler that it claims is considerably faster than Sun's JVM and just-in-time compilers.

But all that speed isn't going to do Asymetrix much good if third-party vendors don't actually incorporate the technology. The company says it is negotiating with 20 potential browser, hardware, OS, and Internet appliance OEMs to license its Java technology, though it won't disclose any names.

Meanwhile, Borland's Java engine, called Borland AppAccelerator, received a critical endorsement when Netscape licensed it for a future version of Navigator. Microsoft has said it will put its own just-in-time compiler directly into future versions of its operating systems, including Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Related stories:
OS vendors will make Java standard
Netscape to give Java applets a jolt
Sun speeds up Java just in time