Sun puts Java into gear for cars

Java is slowly showing up on just about everything. In the last few years Java has shown up on cell phones and now automobiles (in-car computers). What good would Java be in the car be? Java could control in-dash navigation, air conditioning, entertainment, downloadable horn tones, and other functions. Already Sun has signed on with BMW for there series 100, 300, 500 and 600 series.

Having secured a niche for Java in cell phones, Sun is setting its sights and server ambitions on a new client device: cars.

Sun's success in the server market hasn't helped it elbow Microsoft aside in personal computers. Microsoft's Windows, and not Sun's Java, is used as the programming foundation of choice in desktops and notebooks. But PCs aren't the only "client" device that people use to tap into network services. "Clients are back," Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's chief operating officer, told JavaOne attendees here on Monday. "They're touch points between a university and hospital and patients, between drivers and automobile companies, between subscribers and handsets. The evolution of that market (is) beginning to bubble back."

Java has become the leading platform for games on cell phones, and Sun is looking to repeat that success in in-car computers. Schwartz told the JavaOne crowd that in a meeting with an automobile company he had been discussing the $3.5 billion market for ring-tone downloads for cell phones when a younger executive suggested, "We could make downloadable horn tones to an automobile." After the initial burst of laughter at the meeting died down, Schwartz commented: "Do you know a 17-year-old who would pay $5 for a new horn tone on his dashboard? I do."

News source: C|Net News.com

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