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New cell-phone Java holds promise

Allies of Sun Microsystems have completed a second version of Java software for cell phones that they hope will fill some of the gaps left by the first, but many expect challenges moving to the new technology. Announced earlier this month, the new Java holds the promise of simpler cell phone programming, richer games, more money for cell phone service providers and software that connects to Internet services.

But some experts predict that memory requirements and cost will likely hamper adoption of the software, known as Mobile Information Device Platform (MIDP) 2.0. Gadget designers say the newer Java will require about 100K more memory than the previous version, a sizable jump for cell phones. That's enough to prevent some current handsets from being upgraded and to deter manufacturers from including MIDP 2.0 on some models, according to some experts.

"My main issue is trying to squeeze it (the new MIDP) into last year's shoebox," said David Yach, Research In Motion software vice president.

The cell phone market has been a bright spot for Java, a Sun-inspired initiative aimed at fostering alternatives to Microsoft by creating interoperable software standards for the PC and beyond. The software was designed to let a single program run on any device of a certain class, regardless of underlying details such as its operating system or processor.

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News source: ZDNet

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