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How did Java end up on top?

Posted by malcolmdavis on July 12, 2005 at 10:33 PM PDT

Last night I read/listened to a column at http://java.sys-con.com/read/108718.htm. In the column, Dvorak says, I am not going to say it's transforming but I'm going to say it' popular."

Did this guy really say this? The tone of the message was that Java was a novelty. That somehow everybody started writing Java software, and the momentum carried Java up the ladder of success.

Where did all the momentum come from? On Windows, VB already had a hold on the market when Java 2 appeared. On UNIX, there were many C/C++ diehards that said Java was too slow and a memory hog. Microsoft was trying it's best to kill Java, even announcing at one Tech Ed conference that "Java was dead and Microsoft had won". COBAL was the big rage in the late 90s as companies tried to fend off the Millennium bug. How did all the software get written that made Java a novelty? Dvorak even mentioned later in the same interview that Sun spent $0 on the marketing of Java. VB & C++ dogmatist, business concerns, Microsoft marketing engine, Sun's lack of marketing skills, and Java still ends up on top.

Most of us can agree that neither Java nor Sun is perfect, but is Java transforming? How did Java end up on top? Does the technology need to be at the level of the atomic bomb, penicillin, or "the pill" to make Dvorak's list of transforming technologies?

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