Apple's director of worldwide developer relations, Guillermo Ortiz, has confirmed that the final version of Mac OS X should ship by the end of February, according to a report from ZDNet.

Ortiz was explaining Apple's Max OS X strategy to German software developers during a Munich meeting. He confirmed that Mac OS X development is close to completion, and predicted that it would ship by late February.

He also offered an inside view of Mac OS X and it's built-in Java 2 features. During the JavaOne conference in June, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs appeared on stage with Sun's CEO, Scott McNealy to promise that OS X would offer "the best Java platform on the planet – right out of the box".

Bury the hatchet At the time both men admitted that their companies had not worked closely together in the past.

"I know some of you (in the audience) have not been thrilled with Java on the Mac," Jobs said. "We've finally figured out how to work with each other."

It is thought that Java 2 will run 1.8 times faster on OS X-enabled processors. The Java Virtual Machine will also be more stable when running Java applets.

Mac first The tools for enhanced Java 2 support are already available to developers. In July, Inprise/Borland announced that its JBuilder cross-platform Java-development environment would be fully Mac OS X compliant – the first time this solution has worked with the Mac.

Apple's understanding of the potential importance of Java compliance is clear. The company is positioning itself with its technologies and its political alignments to take advantage of the cross-platform standard.

The recent news that Apple and Oracle have certified the Apple Macintosh client on the Oracle E-business suite was a major step forward.

At the German developer's conference, progress on MPEG-4 evaluation and USB 2.0 support were discussed, as was the built-in ability of Mac OS X to support creative multimedia applications, including Apple's Final Cut Pro.