Microsoft?s strategy of optimising Java for its own Windows environment is based on fear and will backfire, but it is succeeding in damaging developers? long-term commitment to the platform.
The battle between Microsoft and Java?s owner, Sun Microsystems, is causing market diffusion and may lead to further splintering of the technology, according to the findings of a panel, which discussed ?Surviving the Java Battles? at the Comdex show in Las Vegas this week.
?Corporate rivalry is at the heart of the whole thing because there?s huge money to be made and lost. But fear is driving this on Microsoft?s part and nothing else. Microsoft could have been Java?s biggest advocate and been a great leader, but it rejected the part and lumped all Java supporters together with Sun. However, it made a mistake in doing so and lost the loyalty of a lot of people,? said Rick Ross, president and founder of the Java Lobby.
But John Rymer, president of Upstream Consulting, took the argument one stage further. ?This is a war between companies for domination of the industry. Microsoft makes no secret of its ambitions, but Sun is acting in the same way as Microsoft and adopting the same type of behaviour. A lot of the battles are just PR, but follow the money and you?ll find out why they?re acting in this way.?
He continued: ?I don?t think any of this is having a material effect on Java now. There?s incredible interest and some very inventive uses of the technology, but the battles do make it difficult to make a long-term commitment to it. Developers are back in the same postion as they were with OS/2 - they have to make a bet and choose which platform to put it on.?
According to Ross, this is causing diffusion in the industry and may cause others to follow in Microsoft?s shoes by adding bells and whistles that will further destroy Java?s cross-platform nature.
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