"Microsoft Corp. today formally announced its C# graphical
programming language and said it's working with ECMA, an
international standardization body based in Geneva, to create a
standard specification aimed at letting multiple software vendors
deliver the new language and supporting tools."
"Microsoft also released the C# reference document that it
submitted to ECMA to kick off the standards process. C# (pronounced
"C sharp") is a challenge to Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java language,
which is supported by Microsoft rivals such as IBM."
"Sun also had been working with ECMA -- formerly known as the
European Computer Manufacturers Association -- in an attempt to
develop a Java standard. But the company withdrew from the
standardization process last year after declining to turn over Java
documentation, citing concerns that ECMA had no written policies on
trademark and copyright questions... Roger Kay, an analyst at
International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass., said Sun's early
missteps with Java may have left the door open for C#.
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