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Microsoft to ship Visual J++ 6.0

The giant preps for the release of the latest version of its Java development tool.

Microsoft tomorrow will release the latest version of Visual J++, its Java development tool.

With Visual J++ 6.0, Microsoft has added Windows Foundation Classes, a Windows-specific, object-oriented development framework that combines the Win32 and Dynamic HTML programming models. Win32 is the native API for Windows; Dynamic HTML refers to a group of Web-building specifications including HTML, cascading style sheets, and scripting languages.

WFC provides prebuilt components and classes for the creation of Windows-specific applications in Java. Developers also can use WFC to build components that are interoperable with those written in languages other than Java.

WFC has earned Microsoft criticism that it is trying to splinter the Java language by tying its implementations to the Windows platform. (See related story)

Version 6.0 lets developers create reusable components, including WFC components and ActiveX controls, and place them on the tool palette. With Version 6.0, developers also can create reusable Component Object Model components. COM is Microsoft's architecture that lets compliant applications access any object based on it.

Visual J++ 6.0 ships tomorrow, a month later than the Visual Studio 6.0 suite it belongs to. Microsoft shipped the second beta version of Visual J++ 6.0 in July; Visual J++ was delayed because of WFC development.

Visual J++ 6.0 follows Visual J++ 1.1 in order to catch up with the numbering of the rest of the suite.

Standalone pricing is $549 for the Professional Edition and $109 for the Standard Edition. Upgrade pricing is also available.