Monday, April 12, 2004

PBS | I, Cringely: The Once and Future King: Now the Only Way Microsoft Can Die is by Suicide

PBS | I, Cringely: The Once and Future King: Now the Only Way Microsoft Can Die is by Suicide "Look at the language of the Sun-Microsoft announcement. "Microsoft and Sun will work together to improve collaboration between the Java and .Net technologies, while Microsoft will be allowed to continue to provide product support for the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine in its products. Microsoft was set to end support later this year, raising compatibility and security questions for users." While some people think this means Microsoft will bundle Java again, I think that Microsoft will choose to pursue their own .NET Java (J#), instead. However, with platform independent Java less of a threat, it is easier to agree to improve collaboration. Microsoft will now make their Java work inside the .NET framework as a real option for those who insist on using Java. Meanwhile C# and VB.NET will still be the main .NET languages.
All this simply recognizes that it is too late for Java to succeed in the Windows world. .NET is now too good.
Sun no longer poses any threat to Microsoft. Part of this feeling is based on agreements between the two companies that have to exist but weren't announced. For all we know, Sun may have given up the future of Java altogether and will allow it to wither away and be replaced by .NET. Whether that's the case or not, Java Desktop (Sun's biggest strategic threat to Windows) is over. Sun now goes back to being just a maker of big Unix servers intended to support a Windows-centric IT world. And the whole Java culture, which is to say IBM and Oracle, is threatened. Microsoft hobbles three opponents in one deal.
The worst thing about this deal is that Sun brought it upon itself through a campaign of ridicule and hate promulgated personally by CEO Scott McNealy. This is McNealy's failure and nobody else's. The quotes last week from McNealy were laughable, the about face nothing short of shameful. How are Sun's big customers going to believe what the company says in the future in the face of such a change? How can they base huge technical investments on the word of Sun?"
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