The "editor-in-chief" of Microsoft's massive Web site has ordered the removal of all Java applets, giving the company's many Webmasters 30 to 60 days to accomplish the task. Currently, there are almost 600 Java applets in use on the Web site, which gets 120 million hits a day.

"I made the directive for two reasons," said Tim Sinclair, editor-in-chief of the Microsoft Web site. "Sometimes \[Java applets\] are large and downloading \[takes too long\]. We are looking for better compatibility across browsers and other platforms."

The ban focuses primarily on navigational applets, such as the ones that resemble Win32 tree controls. Microsoft plans on using HTML and JavaScript to replace the Java applets, and wishes to keep each page below 60K in size.

"Companies are wary about putting Java on their sites because some firewalls don't allow the applets through," said one Microsoft Webmaster. Corporate IS people are unwilling to let these applets through, but sites that appeal to kids, such as entertainment and game sites, are full of Java applets."

Regardless, the heaviest use of Java applets on the Microsoft site are the MSDN site and the BackOffice site, which are aimed at corporate users