Clay Shirky’s appeal on
oreilly.com for OEMs to keep bundling Java with Windows rings hollow. In the
name of preserving the diversity of the “computing ecosystem,” Shirky decries
Microsoft’s decision to debundle its JVM from Windows XP, calling it a
In fact, it’s nothing of the sort. What right does Java have more than Perl, Python or Tcl to be bundled in with Windows? It certainly isn’t client-side
applications. Java’s strong suit is in server applications: ones that are
heavyweight enough to require a server operating system, and with installation
procedures complex enough that a separate install of a Java virtual machine is
more than acceptable.
The removal of the JVM will be of no consequence to the overwhelming majority of Windows XP users.
The real issue behind the debundling of the JVM is the ongoing fight
between Sun and Microsoft. The removal of Java from Windows XP sends a
negative signal about Java at a time when Microsoft wants to push .NET. After
all, if Java depends on being bundled with Windows for its popularity, it
doesn’t say a lot about its strengths as a platform in its own right.
Sun is big enough and nasty enough to slug this one out for itself.
Sign the anti-petition here! What difference does it make whether there’s a JVM or not?