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Schwartz: JavaFX can take on Flash

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz believes Java can take on Adobe's Flash when it comes to glitzy desktop applications.

SAN FRANCISCO--When Sun announced its new JavaFX scripting language Tuesday at the JavaOne trade show here, it looked to some like the company was trying to re-create what's already being done more widely with Adobe Systems' Flash and that Microsoft hopes to accomplish with its Silverlight software.

But JavaFX, which is geared to make it easier to build flashy Web sites and Java desktop applications but which isn't yet released as a final product, stands out from those competitors, Sun Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz argued at a news conference.

Java is already used on the servers that power many Internet sites and on the devices people use to tap into those systems, and businesses need that connection, Schwartz said.

"We're focused on connecting business systems with people," Schwartz said. "If you're a bank, you want to reach customers on set-top boxes, car navigation systems, mobile phones. You want to reach them with your business systems to update them with their savings (account details) or credit card bill. What's happening on the Internet today is all these systems are being connected to one another."

Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president for software, said he believes the battle has just begun. "We're just seeing early build-out phases...It's just the beginning, and we have a great shot."

JavaFX programs run using standard Java software, but it employs a scripting language to try to make writing Java applications easier, Green said.

"We heard from a lot of people that (they) can do anything with Java. It just takes such a long time--it requires professional coding techniques and a very deep understanding," Green said.

Added Schwartz, "JavaFX Script is going to bring Java to creative professionals--to orders of magnitude more contributors. It's no longer the domain of object-oriented programmers."