Microsoft is planning to release a beta of the next version of Visual J++-- code-named "Vegas"--sometime in the next few weeks. Visual J++ is Microsoft's Java development product. The beta, expected September 22 at the Professional Developers Conference in San Diego, is coming months earlier than similar upgrades to other development tools because Microsoft wishes to maintain a strong presence in the Java arena.

Vegas will sport an integrated development environment similar to the one used by Visual Basic 5.0, a hint at the future IDE for Microsoft's other development tools and Visual Studio suite. It will include J/Direct, so that Java developers can directly access the Win32 API