There is a rumour that Sun and Microsoft are to announce that Java capabilities will be embedded in future releases of Windows operating systems. Until now, the only real tools for using Java-based applets have been the few Java-enabled World-Wide Web browsers. There has been talk about Java-enabled network computers which some in the industry say will revolutionise the software industry by allowing the use of Java applets and applications on demand. But the only way to run applets is with Netscape, although Microsoft's Internet Explorer will soon support Java, and fully fledged Java applications require installing the complete Java Developer's Kit which is an inconvenient way to run an application., especially for computer novices. With the move to embed Java capabilities into a major operating system, Java now has the chance to live up to it's potential for the development of useful application software. With Java embedded in Windows 95, the next version of Word could theoretically be written in Java as could spreadsheets, graphics applications and networking applications including Web browsers like Netscape. Today's Java software focuses on adding special effects and interactive enhancements to Web pages but does not offer true utility. Until now Java has been caught in a mini vicious circle. Everyone knows Java has great potential to revolutionise software, making it platform independent and modular, but without a large installed based of Java-enabled clients few software makers will invest resources into developing robust, full-scale applications, modules or applets. Similarly, without the application base, the uptake of Java-enabled clients such as network computers is bound to be limited. Now that Java will be incorporated into a dominant desktop, there is reasonable justification for software companies to invest money in Java-based software development. Because the announcement could make high-quality Java-based applications more likely, it makes the production of low-cost Java-enabled computers or network computers a viable proposition. Other Java developments will reinforce the announcement. Where the Java Developer Kit from Sun used to be Java's only development tool, the industry now has several professional development tools for Java from the likes of Borland and Symantec. Novell has also announced plans to combine Java into Netware, another example of bringing Java directly into an operating system - in this case make Java's cross-platform and security features available on Netware networks. With all the momentum generated by these announcements, Java seems poised to become a dominant development language. For the latest information on Java and the most complete list of Java applets currently available on the Web, access the Gamelan directory at http://www.gamelan . com/.