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Microsoft Can Outspend Sun Tenfold & On Anything Says Father of Java
Microsoft Can Outspend Sun Tenfold & On Anything Says Father of Java

(September 27, 2002) - James Gosling concedes in a press interview this week that the sheer profitability of archrival Microsoft Corporation gives them a 10-to-1 spending advantage.

"They can outspend us on anything," says Gosling.

Asked whether Jonathan Schwartz's recent appointment as Executive Vice-President of Sun's new Software Group was likely to alter the course of Java in any significant way, Gosling is upbeat, speculating that Schwartz's team's commitment to "exploit the synergies" between the three legs of Sun's software effort - Solaris, Java, and the product world - "should be interesting" since the three elements had never before been brought together.

"The thing that has been changing," Gosling says, "has been Sun's increasing focus on software, and increasing commitment to software."

Asked about Web services, the Father of Java repeats the well-known stance that he already took when keynoting at Web Services Edge 2001 (East) in New York City last year. "People have been building Web services under different names for 20 or 30 years," he explains. "We've been building distributed systems for years out using CORBA and RMI and all of that."

On the subject of XML he remarks: "One of the descriptions of XML is that it is HTML for a silicon-based life form. . . .But as a matter of common practice, people haven't been doing a lot of interconnection between disjointed organizations that also are distributed."

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Reader Feedback: Page 2 of 3

Of course you can think of pretty much everything in the world in this way: Everything has it's strengths and weaknesses, it's benefits and drawbacks and as long as the sky doesn't fall on our heads, everything is fine. You may call that undogmatic. I call it short sighted.

What really matters is productivity and productivity can be hurt in unexpected ways. I remember the days when I was building my software on top of Microsofts COM. It happened more often than not, that one of my customers changed some settings on their machine and broke my software although the settings were presumably unrelated to my software. In the end I had to care about a user's proxy settings in Internet Explorer or if a new version of Office was being installed or if a customer upgraded from NT 4 to Win 2000. Everything that MS does depends on everything else they do. There are simply no "firewalls", no separation of concerns. Everything is liked to everything else and every system configuration is unique.

That's their way of selling stuff but it hurts my productivity. My change to Java raised my productivity considerably because I only need to support my own software and not the whole system configuration. I will never ever again get trapped in this bundling horror.

Yes they do slick user interfaces and yes their development tools are nice. But at the end of the day Microsoft is a drag on my productivity. And that's what counts for me.

Some people say, you don't need cross platform when 90 % of clients are windows. Apart from the fact that the picture is very different on the server side, it's just not true that windows is one platform. You have to take into account all the different combinations of windows operating systems, internet explorer versions, service packs and other MS software that comes with system updates (like office)

The beauty of Java is that I don't have to care about all that. I put all my stuff including the Java runtime in one directory and it will work no matter what.


I have done both Microsoft based development and Java, among other things and I have to say, .Net is a direct ripoff of Java. I'm not mad or anything about that. I think Microsoft is pretty open about ripping off Java(if you doubt that, take a look at their .Net research website....interesting whitepapers). Anyhoo, Microsoft's goal is to do Java better than Sun....a more flexible Java if you will. Its funny that Sun doesn't recognize this. But someone else does, and that someone is IBM. It's very interesting the things that IBM is doing with its eclipse initiative. If you know anything about java, you're probably aware that its two biggest problems are performance on the desktop(GUI apps) and a fragmented vendor community. Where Microsoft will win is in the quality of its tools. Their IDE is, and always has been, very good. Developers love it, especially entry level developers. The Java community has always suffered from a lack of these sort of higher level tools, and even when they have been available, there is poor integration with other best of breed tools, or the tools combined just cost too damn much. If IBM can rectify this problem, and improve desktop app performance with its SWT, I may just become an IBM fan. I have too much of an investment in Java not to.


Is there a peaceful solution?

It can be J2EE App Server or IIS.

Then, on the other end of line, it would be "the" browser (to be honest),interoperating with any AppServer via WebServices...

Forget about everything and all competition. Just use Java, XML and Linux. No cost involved and just see what you can't do with it..

Microsoft is spending money because they're scared to death of Java. They have been scared from day one. Java is not going to die. All Java programmers should not give up the fight. Don't feel threatened by the bully. In the end, you'll win. Just see how fast Java is growing in wireless phones / PDAs as well. .NET may be a huge loss to Microsoft which will deplete their cash Remember if you support .NET, you're supporting the bully who will most likely take advantage of you. After all, why should we trust Microsoft? They tried to modify the language from day one. In Java 1.0 and probably 1.1, Microsoft's API had some methods missing and when you executed the code, you would get unexpected results. Your boss probably yelled at you for not getting a program working under MS's VM and Sun's VM. That's exactly what happened to me.

Microsoft are marketing experts not software experts. EVERYONE KNOWS that Word and I.E. crash. In fact Word crashes so badly at times that it locks up Windows Explorer (the GUI) on NT-class systems (the only remedy is to reboot).

There no longer any excuse for this. Period.

Only idiots authorize the installation of software that is known to crash regularly. Unfortunately, users DO have to put up with lost productivity due to Microsoft crashes. Those responsible are the software purchasers NOT Microsoft. Microsoft sell crap because idiots buy it.

It's the year 2002 and the most popular wordprocessor crashes! This cannot be over-stated: idiots in purchasing are compromising productivity.

I've been happy with Microsoft's customer applications. However, as a long-time PC developer (and many years before the PC), Micosoft's language tools and libraries are a real hodgepodge mess compared with other languages and tools that are available elsewhere.

Their dominance (monopoly) in the operating system and many app's forces most developers to use their tools -- often exclusively, and the sheer number of developers in the Microsoft stable is a force to be reckoned with. However, that widespread usage doesn't automatically make Microsoft's tools good and easy to use -- they're not. There are a few exceptions, but VB, MSC, and C# are not among them. Don't brag about Microsoft's development tools unless you've worked both sides of the fence.

The 10:1 spending ratio may well be, but the one thing Sun/Java has going for itself and Microsoft does not is open source commitment. If you look at the number and quality of software that is around for Java offered for free, not to mention the choice of non open-source products, it makes a very compelling case for the platform. Having said that, Microsoft is going to do what they do best: offer a well featured, user friendly product-line with a decent price. I would expect Java to take the high end (IBM, Sun, Oracle) and low end (open source, Tomcat, Struts) and Microsoft take everything in between.

Imagine if Sun and Microsoft could have agreed on Java. Instead they put their mutual animosity before the good of the programming community. For this deceit they are equally to blame - fuck both! Sorry, but it summarizis my feelings right now. I took the Java road and now I'm left standing with an inferior user interface. Write Once, Run Anywhere, Sell Nowhere! Had I gone for C#, I would've been locked into Windows only. Just as bad.

I agree with 'Real World', I have worked with all the above mentioned platforms elements and feel the same; They have stengths and weaknesses and unfortunately two uncorperative and somewhat arrogant companies promoting them (Microsoft and Sun). As 'Real World' states its the efficient of the written software, both platforms can do the job, although I have my own perferences, I have architected projects in both - both platforms are a work in progress, one that I hope evolves well into the future making our lives as developers easier, fun, fluid and productive.

All you sun freaks out there!! I'm one of you too. Looking at the prospects of .NET as a competition to SunONE, sure we need to be concerned. Believe me, all of us on this side of the platform are irrelevant, while the customer is king. If one potential client decides on .NET instead of J2EE, its one more blow to us.
Instead of mud slinging Microsoft, lets try to take the best parts from Microsoft (learn from the enemy) and beat him with pace and quality. What say ?

Deepak Kenchamba

I have worked with both sets of technologies (JAVA, J2EE, JSP, Websphere and C#, ASP.NET, CLR) and the bottom line is that both technologies have their strengths and their weaknesses. The bottom line is that they both will scale for almost any application imaginable as long as the designers/coders know what they are doing. In fact, I can write a JAVA/J2EE application that will bring a mainframe to its knees just like I can bring a .NET server to a screeching halt if I design or write an application inefficiently.

The bottom line is that both technologies will exist for a long time and there will be religious arguments made everyday. I am just tired of hearing the SUN certified expert say how sorry .NET is, or listening to the Microsoft certified expert tell me how bad JAVA is when neither person has done a "real" project in the other technology.

The bottom line is that you have to evaluate the requirements of the project at hand and pick the technology that is the best fit. Sometimes it will be JAVA and sometimes it will be Microsoft.

.Net? Let's see. It's about $1000 to get started with .NET. Oh, yes, you have to have a Windows NT/2000 system, too. There's a framework thingy you can download for free, but essentially MS is aiming for corporate IT departments and big consulting firms. Java is a free download, runs on many platforms, and it's great technology that continues to grow and improve. I can't wait to see what 1.5 has in store for us.

Declaring Java dead is premature at best. Besides, Java is now the language of choice at top university computer science departments. Lots of pretty good programmers coming out of these places. Maybe C# is better in certain ways, the way Objective C was "better" than C++ in certain ways. If C# wins it's probably a combination of the 80-20 rule--it's 80% good enough, and also the moneybags rule--you can't go wrong for buying Microsoft's solution. However Java has some mighty big allies now, including IBM, Oracle, Sun, etc. etc. Together, these companies are a formidable block. Plus there's the counter-argument: if C# is that similar to Java, a C# programmer should be able to switch easily to Java!!!

Gosling says: "People have been building Web services under different names for 20 or 30 years," he explains. "We've been building distributed systems for years out using CORBA and RMI and all of that."
This is an amazing quote. TCP has not been "done" for even 20 years. CORBA has not been real for even 10 years. And RMI dates back all of six or so years. What gross exaggeration. Why? Because MS got out in front with XMLHTTP web services (what in fact everybody knows "web services" means)?

I speak as a person that has a big investment in J2EE, and I think Java is toast in a few years.
We have been working with Microsoft's .Net platform, and C# is basically Java fixed to be a better language. It is very clean, and the Assembly concept(DLL) just feels better than jar's. The language has all the features of Java, and Java programmers will feel right at home. However the additional features make it a joy to work with. A little slow on startup, but so is Java, but very fast around the corners.

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