used today's Windows briefing to take a jab at Java.
After no mention of the J-word all day, Microsoft vice president Paul Maritz summed up the Windows
briefing by bodyslamming Java and mocking its cross-platform mantra.
"It's write once, run 42 percent of everywhere," said Maritz at today's press conference
(see Memphis is Windows 98
). "It will be
much less of a phenomenon than some people would like it to be."
Maritz praised Java as a programming language but scoffed at attempts to
make it an application platform. Microsoft's support of Java will focus on
tools to create Java-based applications that run best or only on the
Microsoft is betting that the software development market, where it wields enormous influence because of its domination of the desktop, will effectively fracture Java into incompatible flavors, much
like the Unix market.
"We look to provide mechanisms that let developers be economically viable
against their competitors," Maritz said. "We think sheer economics will
force other OS vendors to do the same."
Meanwhile, Java's backers are racing to add support for more
features, such as file systems and multimedia, to the technology's underlying architecture.