– Java Media APIs announced, providing Java access to multimedia sources such as audio, video, 2D and 3D applications, and animation. Java Media APIs link Java to various third-party media transports, containers, and encoding formats.
Feb. 2 – Sun Microelectronics unveils plans to build embedded processors that use Java as their microcode?will be able to run Java programs directly, with no interpreter, presumably much faster and on smaller chips than general-purpose processors would be able to do.
In the end, Sun Microelectronics ships one or two models but the product idea never takes off. For one thing, evolution of Java compilers undercuts need for the concept.
-JavaSoft announces JavaOS, a short-lived attempt to replace Windows.
-Java Developer Services site announced.
-SunSoft ships Java WorkShop, multiplatform development environment for Java programmers.
-Hot Java browser unveiled. This was intended as a demonstration of what a fully Java-enabled browser could do, but it was ahead of its time; it also clashed with Sun’s valued partnership with Netscape.
-“Java Pavilion” of boothlets hosts 100 small companies (many of them startups) showing early Java-based products–mostly developer tools, and mostly quick-changed from C++ and other object languages.
July – MS Internet Explorer V 3.0B2 includes support for Java applets.
August – Leading VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB) announces Java Fund with $100 million to invest in Java-specific startups. First beneficiaries are Marimba and Active Software. (Interest in Java Fund fades with market crash, but Marimba and Active Software are still around.)
Summer – Developers band together to form Java Lobby to pressure vendors to ensure that developer needs are considered in the heat of competitive battle. By mid-1999, Java Lobby can claim 36,000 Java developer-members.
Summary of 1996: Most major vendors have announced some Java technology license, and many have actually shipped product. All the object-language vendors are offering Java products. Lesser-known object languages face eclipse. Difficulty in making Java work on clients (especially due to discrepancies between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape’s browser VMs) cause Java corporate developer enthusiasts to start viewing Java as more valuable on server side.