By Mark Driver, Gartner Analyst
Since the inception of Java technology, Sun Microsystems has eyed the embedded and mobile markets as the potential "killer application" for Java.
In fact, Java began as a research project for interactive television set-top boxes. But the earlier backlash against client-side Java--caused by the software's immaturity and lack of developer skills--delayed its migration to smaller devices.
Consequently, the most successful deployments of Java technology have been within the back office as a platform for server-side e-business computing efforts.
Today, however, the industry is experiencing a resurgence of interest in client-side Java technology.
The platform is mature, and industry momentum is growing behind Sun's revamped Java 2 Micro Edition. Gartner expects a number of vendors to release a range of Java-enabled devices, starting in the second half of this year and continuing throughout 2001, which will closely follow the explosive growth of Internet access devices.
Sun benefits by Java's growing critical mass since it continues to draw the focus away from Microsoft and other vendors' competing platform solutions.
In addition, most of the new generation of mobile and wireless devices will rely on powerful servers to coordinate and process the bulk of the information they manage.
Sun directly stands to profit by the demand for hardware and enterprise server-side Java technology as Java becomes more pervasive.
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