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Smaller Java, but bigger market?

Posted by cos on April 21, 2006 at 12:47 PM PDT

Hi there

This time it isn't about Java quality. However, it's related to Java
:-) Well, there is at least some difference, right?

I'd visited CTIA conference
recently. Actually, this was my first time experience with that kind
of technological forum ever. It's totally different from development
conferences - it's so about money. It stinks of money, if you will. It
seems like all these business people at pumping a lot of cash into
almost any wireless-like technology or software application. It's
like the nineties of last century: if you had a word 'Internet'
somewhere on your business plan - you're likely to get some crazy
funding.

Anyways, at that even in Las Vegas, NV, I saw a lot of interesting wireless stuff presented by respectable companies
like RIM (gosh, I love their phones!), Nokia, LG, Samsung, Motorolla, NTT Do-Co-Mo, and many
others. The software side was represented by a variety
of service providers and SDK makers like QualComm. Even Microsoft
wasn't ashamed to bring their killer PocketPC smartphones (nice name,
isn't it? Perhaps all other's are dumbphones) to the expo. And it is a killer by the way it assassinates those small gizmos.

But what hit me a lot is that I didn't see the main player of the
JavaME's field: Sun Microsystems didn't appear at the
CTIA. And believe me - I was looking hard!



The company, which had created the most popular software platform in
the world; powering as many as 2.5B Java devices around the globe had
only one session in all three days of second biggest wireless
technology conference ever.



The session was about
NetBeans
Mobility 5.0
However, it was taken away to the Harrah's casino (perhaps, hidden from
Microsoft's corporate spies or something): neither Sun Microsystems
nor NetBeans brands were listed in the conference catalog; neither
NetBeans or Sun's info hasn't been posted on the CTIA web site; clerks
at the info booths weren't aware about such a pod at
all.

To give you some comparison ground: QualComm is supporting about
40+ OEM manufacturers. This gives us roughly 600 headset models
(according to one of their marketing folks). And they had
a big setup, a special all day long development seminar, etc. One more fact: there are as many as 200+ mil. of cell.phones owners in the US. So, do your math...

So, I'm kinda wondering what is the message JavaME community will be
getting by this de-marsh? Does it simply mean, that Sun Microsystems
starts paying more and more attention to the mobility tools
development or something else?

But on a bright note, I'd like to mention, that a
number of software development companies are still looking toward
JavaME platform. I was talking to a few folks from that side of the
fence, and they seem to be quite excited about what they are able to
do with JavaME now. A particular interest is coming from wireless
social networking developers - Java platform is greatly simplifying
the user experience and reducing the development cycle for them.

By the way, the wireless social networking is blooming nowadays. I met a very promising and proactive group of folks from href="http://www.vcellvibes.com/">VCEL, Inc. who did a very first
truly wireless social networking platform in this country. And it's all using JavaME
(well, they've might be using Java for their server side too, instead
of scripting :-). They are supporting about 20+ MIDP2.0 headsets from
different manufacturers and providing a whole new way into people social
communication. It's so cool! And I'll write more on this particular
topic later...

See yall soon,
Cos

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