The second annual JavaOne conference opens next week in San Francisco and JavaSoft will be making a series of announcement aimed at explaining the corporate vision for the future of Java. Expected announcements include a new version of the Java Virtual Machine, better security, and new enterprise-oriented APIs. The company will also release four new versions of the Java programming language aimed at personal digital assistants (PDAs), "smart phones" and other non-PC devices. The breaking of Java into these areas has caused JavaSoft to create four reference implementations: General Purpose, Personal, Embedded, and Card.

Personal Java will include light versions of the Java run-time libraries, APIs, and Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT). Embedded Java is a subset of Personal Java aimed at printers, copiers, telephones, and other office equipment. General Purpose Java is analogous to the Java now use to create applets and application programs for personal computers and servers. Java Smart Card refers to so-called "Java smart cards," a new specification that would allow Network Computers to accept Java applications stored on PC cards.

The new JVM features the HotSpot technology Sun acquired last month. HotSpot allows the JVM to dynamically compile Java bytes codes into native machine code, enabling Java applets and applications to run at speeds close to that of native C or C++. The JDK 1.1 Win32 DLL will be introduced as well, speeding the Windows implementation of Java.

JavaSoft is releasing a Crypto Toolkit that allows developers to write secure Java applications that access cryptography engines without needing to understand how they work.

Additionally, supporters of the "picoJava" CPU design will announce support for the Java chipset, which is expected to be the backbone of several Network Computers (NCs) and other devices such as cellular phones, printers, and computer peripherals. The picoJava chipset represents the low-end of Java chipsets, with MicroJava processors targeted at general purpose and industry-specific designs, and the UltraJava CPU aimed at high-end graphics environments. The CPUs are all going to be attractively priced