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SavaJe may still get its day in the Sun

Java-based mobile operating system SavaJe looks like it might have finally found a home with handset vendor Samsung.

Rumours circulating this week suggest that SavaJe owner Sun Microsystems is partnering with the Korean manufacturer to develop a handset based on the ill fated platform.

Computer giant Sun acquired SavaJe in April, supposedly after the start up’s money ran out. The two make a good fit. With Sun’s Java heritage and SavaJe being base don Java, Sun pledged to take another crack at the “write once, run anywhere” promise of Java on the mobile.

What SavaJe was proposing to do, was deliver an open and flexible user interface based on the desktop version of Java. Its roots made it attractive to the developer community, whilst operators loved the customisation options and security but the company had problems getting mainstream vendor support.

Essentially, SavaJe set out to do what Java ME did not do. As it is both a programming language and an application execution environment, Java ME promised application standardisation across all handsets. But due to the vast differences between devices, these promises were short lived and the write once, run anywhere idea remained a dream.

SavaJe had some dealings with vendors prior to its acquisition, but LG Electronics, Hong Kong’s Group Sense and Chinese manufacturer Longcheer were the only manufacturers interested in commercialising the platform and then only in Asia.

In May, Sun unveiled the first in a new family of Java-based platforms for portable and embedded devices. JavaFX Mobile is a scripting language designed for creating rich content and applications to run on Java-powered devices from mobile phones to Blu-ray Disc players, set top boxes, navigation devices and automobile dashboards.

JavaFX will be made available via OEM license to carriers, content owners and consumer electronics manufacturers and will be available to the free and open source community via the GNU General Public License (GPL) license.

So it remains to be seen whether, given a second chance, SavaJe can make a go of it in the mobile arena. The market is not small – Ovum estimates there were around 2.1 billion Java-enabled mobile devices at the end of March.

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  • Samsung Electronics


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