Microsoft's decision not to include Java support in the upcoming release of Windows XP is part of an overall plan to phase out Java and continue to undermine it in preparation for eventual and complete abandonment.
The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) will not appear in Windows XP unless an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) includes it--Microsoft said Compaq Computer and Dell Computer will continue to ship JVM in their configured systems--or unless the user performs a 5MB download. Clearly, Microsoft is not making it easy for people who want Java support.
In Gartner's view, Microsoft's decision will come as a big blow to Java applet usage, because it will eventually drive usage toward Microsoft's replacement for ActiveX (expected by mid-2002, 0.8 probability). The already small Java applet usage will likely continue to shrink, and Java applets on the public Internet will become a rarity. However, corporate application developers will likely continue to employ Java, but to do so they must ensure that they install and use a JVM.
However, Gartner believes that there will be virtually no impact on Java server usage. Although Java started out as client technology through the applet mechanism, the vast majority of Java implementations today are server-based, and Microsoft's decision has little impact on server implementations.
Java still remains a big thorn in Microsoft's side. Microsoft's announcement doesn't make it go away, but it does represent another step in undermining Java. Enterprises can't assume that Java will be installed in browsers. By using the Internet Explorer Administrator Kit, enterprises can ensure that the Virtual Machine is installed.
See news story:
Microsoft's Java decision a mixed bag
(For related commentary on what Microsoft's .NET will mean for Java, see TechRepublic.com--free registration required.)
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