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IBM Confidential Java Strategy Update ..

IBM Confidential
Java Strategy Update
May 19, 1997


Java continues to gain momentum faster than anyone expected. Java is a significant threat to Microsoft’s dominant position in the industry. Microsoft initial attempt to get control of Java has failed. However, Java’s success is by no means assure& Microsoft recognizes the severity of the threat and will use all available means to eliminate or control it. The success of 100% Pure Java depends upon ISVs and : customers selecting it as the platform on which they build their business applications. This process is just :~ beginning, it is too soon to tell if 100% Pure Java or Microsoft will emerge as the victor.

IBM has been one of the most visible supporters of Java in the industry. We have contributed a significant amount of IBM technology to JavaSoft. We have also played a pivotal role in keeping the Java coalition together. We have Java-enabled our product line. Technically, we are well-positioned to benefit from Java’s success. To reap the benefits, we must quickly generate significant market momentum to drive sales of our products and services.


This paper is an assessment of the status of lBM’s Java strategy. It addresses the following questions:

* Is Java on target to become the industry standard platform for building network centric business applications?

* What have we been doing to help drive the Java standard, and what additional things do we need to do to increase the probability of its success?

* What do we need to do to position ourselves to profit from Java?

Is Java going to emerge as the platform for building network centric applications?

By any measure, the adoption of Java is moving faster than any previous platform. It has been just 2 years since the first pre-alpha version of Java was distributed on the Web. Two years later, Java is changing the computing landscape:

* There are now 400,000 serious Java developers up from 200,000 six months ago - it is estimated that there will be 600,000 by the end of 1997. There are twice as many Java programmers today than
there were C programmers ten years after C first shipped.

* Over 160 Universities are offering courses in Java.

* There are over 200 Java books in print - which surpasses the number of books available on C++.

* Of the 1 billion smartcards manufactured eaeh year, 70% are manufactured by Gem Plus and Schlumberger - both are planning on using Java as the operating system for their smartcards.

* A recent survey showed that 80% of the companies surveyed are considering using Java while only 43% are considering AcfiveX.

Java has won the first battle but the war is not over. Java will be one of the principal languages used to build network centric applications. Microsoft is trying to surround Java with proprietary Windows interfaces, which will give developers the benefits of the Java language but the applieations will only run on Windows. The Java coalition, which includes Sun, IBM, Oracle and Netscape, is promoting 100% Pure Java, which will run on all popular platforms. The winner will be determined by which option customers and commercial application developers invest in.

In the remainder of this paper we will use Java to refer to 100% Pure Java and ActiveX to refer to Microsoft’s Java implementation.



court documents in the case of Comes v. Microsoft.

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