JavaSoft announced today that the next version of the Java Development Kit (JDK), version 1.2, will enter public beta next month. JDK 1.2 will feature API enhancements but will be built on the current Java Virtual Machine (VM). It will also decrease the memory overhead required to run the JDK. Early next year, JavaSoft will release JDK 2.0, which will include the 1.2 APIs along with a new JVM, which will run at speeds approaching native C++. The new APIs include Java "sandbox" security enhancements.

"The JVM is invisible to the developers," said Eric Chu, a JavaSoft product manager. "That way they can get the benefits of increased speed without having to re-engineer their software."