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Is Microsoft reaching out to Java?

Posted by schaefa on March 24, 2005 at 1:12 PM PST

A few Java community leaders were invited to participate in a summit organized by Microsoft and Rick Ross, the founder of JavaLobby, created presentation about it. No matter if you like, dislike or hate Microsoft the presentation is worthwhile to be listened to. I have to admit that I am guilty of bitching about Microsoft at many occasions but I was burned by Microsoft too many times. Nevertheless I had worked with Microsoft tools like Visual C++ since I started to code primarily in Java. Two years ago I even bought the .NET development environment but never found time to look into it. I would like to participate in a project using both Java and .NET but so far I did not get the chance to do it.

As Rick points out Microsoft is, most likely, never going to open-source Windows, Office or .NET. and so I will most of the time use Java because of the huge amount of opens-source projects and libraries. On the other hand this does not mean that I am not willing or able to develop on a Microsoft platform and with their development tools. At the very end we, the developers, are here to serve our customers and they are going to decide on the requirements and the environment. I, for example, have probably not enough knowledge about .NET to work on pure Microsoft project even thought I have a long history with Microsoft but I am probably quite good to work in a heterogeneous environment were .NET mets Java. I think there is enough room for all developers to find their place where they can bring in their knowledge, skills and passion. So, I think, we should be able to life together in harmony and refrain from bitching about the other.

That said I still cannot embrace Microsoft as my new friend, for now, even thought some of its employees took the risk to reach out to a hostile community. Every company has departments that are better and more honest than others. Because I like the open-source J2EE application server JBoss it does not mean that I like Marc Fleury or do think that he is willing to work together with other open-source J2EE projects like Geronimo. On the other hand I do not like the short movies Sun presented at JavaOne making fun about Microsoft because they are not better or behave differently. If Sun would be in Microsoft's position they would not care about open-source and despite the fact they embrace it right now it took them forever to have Java ported onto Linux.

There are still some years ahead for me until retirement and so I will have to face many challenges maybe even the challenge to work for Microsoft, Sun or IBM. I am pretty sure they are companies out there which are worse to work for. At the end I am more interested in the challenge, technology and the result that the language, development environment or platform.

Happy coding – Andy

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