As rumored previously in WinInfo, Microsoft Corporation has finally admitted that it is no longer updating its Java developer environment, Visual J++. When the company revealed details of the next version of Visual Studio, now dubbed Visual Studio.NET, Visual J++ was conspicuously absent from the list of included products. But when pressed, Microsoft executives eventually said that Visual J++ was omitted because of uncertainty over the Sun Microsystems Java lawsuit. However, the company says that it will still support Java and that any company--including Sun--could make a Java compiler for .NET if desired.

"\[Because of the Sun lawsuit,\] we cannot innovate with Java," a Microsoft spokesperson said Tuesday. "If we do the wrong thing, that would just complicate things." Microsoft released a version of Java in Visual J++ 6.0 that included proprietary language extensions and Windows-specific optimizations. Sun, which owns the Java language, sued Microsoft for violating its Java license. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been working on a suspiciously Java-like language called C# ("see sharp") that the company will release as an open standard. C#, which integrates into Microsoft Visual C++, another component of Visual Studio.NET, seems to solve the Java problem nicely