Microsoft is going to reinstate the Java virtual machine in Windows XP, according to News.Com. I don't know that this does Sun Microsystems, Java programmers, or users any favors. Microsoft's virtual machine is now three versions out of date.

Getting that outdated interpreter out of the way helps popularize the Java Plug-In, Sun's alternative virtual machine for browsers, which supports Java 2 version 1.4. As I'm writing in the upcoming third edition of Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days, it's easy to present Java applets on the Web that use the plug-in instead of the browser's built-in interpreter.

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