With mounting financial losses and impending layoffs, Netscape surprised the online world this week when they announced a plan to give away all of its client software and provide the source code for free. While this aggressive posture has been well received by analysts, Netscape had another surprise up its sleeves: it is dropping all internal development on Java. In fact, the company is considering laying-off all of its employees working on Java programming-related tasks, such as its Java Foundation Class APIs.
"Work at the Java Porting and Tuning Center and the fact that nearly all major, and in some case minor, platforms are ahead of us in JDK 1.1 deployment \[meant\] we needed to take a fundamental change in our approach in getting the latest versions of Java out as soon as they are available," said Marty Cagan, a Netscape VP.
Netscape had been working on a its own Java run-time environment but will now plug Sun Microsystem's JDK components into its software