Sun Microsystems suffered a major setback last week in its attempt to have its Java programming language established as a standard through the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Sun's application to become a submitter of a Publicly Available Specification was voted down by the US representative in the process. There are 22 countries voting in all, but the "no" vote from the US will obviously carry some weight with the other countries that have yet to vote. The whole voting process will be complete by the end of next month. Sun declined to comment until all the votes are in.
New IBM mainframes
IBM was scheduled to roll out a fourth generation of its System 390 CMOS mainframes yesterday. Big Blue states that G4 - not to be confused with the future generation of PowerPC chips with the same name - are the fastest and cheapest of their kind yet. The third generation of CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) processors, launched last October, delivered almost double the performance of the second generation. However, the fourth generation is expected to bring only a 30 per cent improvement on the third generation.