Maybe I don't understand marketing concepts. It seems to me that advertising one of your products as 13 times more reliable than another of your products is not the optimal approach. In my mind, you'd want to emphasize its reliability compared to your competitors' products. But hey, nobody hired me to do marketing for Microsoft, so what do I know?
It's just that I have to laugh every time I see their two-page spread in a magazine, advertising how Windows 2000 Server is that much more reliable than Windows 98. That's not progress - my toaster is more reliable than Windows 98. If Ford advertised two cars, one of which was 13 times less likely to crash, which would you buy? Me, I'd buy a different brand of car. I'd want to know that my car is safer and more reliable than all the others out there, not just a Yugo.
And where do they get off being the world's number one software vendor and having the least reliable operating system? I'm missing something. I can't go a day without rebooting my Millennium Edition machine. Please, Microsoft, get Whistler right so I can get off this horrible platform and still play interesting PC games. Because that's the only reason I run Windows Me at home. It's certainly not for the exquisite joy of watching a brand-name machine lock up every few hours because it runs out of system resources with 96MB of RAM and only two open applications. Sheez.
Since this column has turned into one big Microsoft rant, allow me to continue to rail away at the resolution of the Sun-Microsoft lawsuit. Like some of you, I use Microsoft products every day. My company mandates that, but in most cases the products are good enough that I use them at home as well. Like it or not, they are de facto standards for much of the world.
So it pains me to see the door slammed on any chance of Java integration with the Microsoft platform. It shortchanges millions of users who could have benefited from the integration of the language into the product.
Microsoft, not to be caught flatfooted, has come out with their own "migration" strategy, called JUMP to .Net, to ensure that people everywhere who used Java on Microsoft will not be left in the lurch. Sure, just move off Java. JUMP stands for Java User Migration Path, and it outlines several different approaches to move Java code to the .Net platform. None of these includes running Java code. Given its portability, perhaps many will simply JUMP to UNIX. Or continue to ignore the Microsoft Internet products and run the Java-based products on NT or 2000, as many shops do.
In the meantime, Microsoft will continue to become even more irrelevant to the Java community. We'll still use the basic operating system software, but it's a darn shame we couldn't get real support from Microsoft for the language. Oh well.... Time to reboot my toaster. No, wait, I mean my Windows box.
Sean Rhody is the founding editor of Java Developer's Journal.
He is also a respected industry expert and a consultant with a leading Internet service company.