Seriously, malware authors have always had difficulties to exploit the security holes in Java, simply because there were wtill many other barriers to cross.
Java has alsway been FAR better than Flash in terms of security (Flash is a nightmare because even if it runs in a VM, that VM is shared across all instances started from different websites, and Flash can leak data from one instance to another).
Java is also reknowed for its excellent portability, including across versions : many complex softwares are written in Java using very string construction patterns that are extremely resistant to bugs made by programmers.
Anyway Java's force is its incredible library of high-quality packages, that have been reviewed by many, experimented, tuned for performance. Nothing is better today than the existing garbage collector of Java (garbage collectors are essential components of ALL modern languages, forget C/C++ malloc/free and strcpy !). I have proofs that even Java-written programs will be faster than C/C++ written programs (simply because C/C++ programs cannot be safely optimized for a wide range of target platforms without introducing severe bugs or limitations in deployement).
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