About 44 percent of more than 500 software developers in North America said they are using Java some portion of the time, according to the study by Evans Marketing Services, conducted last month.
But it's not all good news for Java, according to a different survey released last month. Java use is growing, but many big businesses just aren't ready to use it for their most important applications, according to a Zona Research study.
For instance, business software developers still primarily reach for tried-and-tested tools, such as Microsoft's Visual Basic, along with C and C++ for building business applications, the Zona Research study found.
Sun Microsystems, which invented Java, touts it as a universal language that allows developers to write software code once and have it run on any Java-enabled device.
Outside of North America, about 43 percent of software developers said they are using Java, according to Evans Marketing. Evans projects the figure will jump to 61 percent next year.
According to the group, the steady upward growth pattern has existed during the past two years.
"Also important is the fact that developers continue to forecast an increase in Java use both overall and at various usage levels," said Janel Garvin, vice president of research at Evans, in a statement. "These developers are adding Java to their repertoire and they intend to use it more and more."
He observed, however, that developers use Java less frequently than some other languages, because it "is still a new language and can't address the huge mass of old code that must be maintained. In addition, it's particularly suited to newer type applications, architectures, and implementations which are only beginning to come into their own."
The survey is published twice yearly, according to Evans Marketing.