Microsoft has delayed Java support on Windows CE for one year due to technical difficulties. Windows CE 2.0, which is now out, was supposed to support Java. Sources say, however, that the real reason for the delay is Sun's Java lawsuit against Microsoft.

"The Virtual Machine has been held up for political reasons. It's the 'Pure Java' question," said a PC Week source at Microsoft. "We have a releasable VM today and we're tuning it--we'd always like it to perform better. But we're holding it. We hope to have one out by the end of the year."

Microsoft group product manager Doug Dedo said, however, that the Java Virtual Machine for Windows CE isn't even close to release.

"It's not stalled--it's just not ready to go out the door. We won't put it out until the functionality and performance are appropriate," he said.

Dedo said a beta version of the CE JVM should be ready in Q1 1998. According to Dedo, Microsoft is committed to supporting Java on Windows CE, along with C++ and Visual Basic.