The Java Scandal
This is such a mess I hardly know where to start. So I will start with a short historical overview, as I remember it from my time in Silicon Valley back in the Nineties.
Java was invented by Sun Microsystems as part of its drive to unseat Microsoft. It failed, and went broke instead. Once you understand that, you understand the politics of the situation. Netscape, if you recall, also tried to go up against Microsoft and went broke. Microsoft has some of the most ruthless business practices on the planet – and it doesn’t pay to mess around with those guys.
But Java was an excellent idea and became a huge success – an unexpected success that put a lot of software companies out of business – but improved the software industry as a whole. But it got out of hand and morphed into all kinds of things only Java enthusiasts could understand. Sun went out of business and was bought by Oracle. Who got Java without really wanting it.
Sun supported Java as a service to the world, but Oracle had no such mission and neglected it. And ended up with a hot potato that it may never get under control. Huge problems have been discovered in Java, that will take years to fix.
Meanwhile, millions of people like me are trying to live with Java – and are finding that very difficult. I downloaded the latest patch and installed it – and I still don’t know what is going on. There is supposed to be a Java Control Panel somewhere, but I can’t find it. Microsoft doesn’t want to help Oracle, and everyone else is stuck in the middle.
Microsoft has its own version of Java, and its own way of developing software (.NET) . I find this attractive myself, since it is free and has lots of advantages.
But everyone is hesitant to get in bed with Microsoft – because they have been screwed too many times before.