Microsoft own the desktop and the web-browser market, of that there
can be no doubt.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
So what does it mean when the software giant decides against including
Java support in its next release of Windows?
Yes, it's "curtains" for Java on the Web.
This may be great news for many those who regularly encounter
really awful (ab)uses of Java on the Web -- but it's incredibly bad news for
those dot-coms who have built a business reliant on the "write-once, run
A good example of a site with "nowhere to go" is
The cornerstone of this service is the 7am.com Java news ticker applet which
is, according to the site's front page, now installed on almost 200,000
webpages around the world.
Unfortunately, it would appear that someone who installs Windows XP complete
with IE6 simply won't see that ticker any more. Nor will they be able to
navigate those sites dumb enough to rely solely on dorky Java-based navigation
If past history is anything to go by, users of Internet Explorer are usually
pretty quick to update their browser to the latest version, so it would be
reasonable to assume that 7am.com, and other sites relying on Java, will
notice a rapid decline in traffic after XP/IE6 launches.
Microsoft are promising a replacement technology for the missing Java-- but we
haven't seen it yet and I don't hold too much hope of it magically appearing
before the October release of XP.
Anticipate, Adapt, or Die
This vulnerability highlights one of the most important things about
survival on the Internet -- the ability to anticipate and adapt to
a rapidly changing environment.
We've already seen how an inability to respond quickly to change has
doomed so many dot-com ventures and the nixing of Java is just another
step in the Web's evolution.
Perhaps the most obvious example of how this inability to adapt has doomed
so many is the effect of the crashing Net-advertising market.
When the dot-com bubble burst back in March 2000, there were literally
thousands of Net-ventures, many built with millions of dollars of investor
capital, that suddenly lost their one and only revenue stream.
Far too many of them were immediately doomed to bankruptcy -- because they
were incapable of adapting and finding other ways to earn money.
Others, lacking in inspiration and imagination, simply moved to a user-pays
model and started charging a subscription. We have yet to see if that's
going to save them -- but I doubt it.
Isn't it funny that in these days of ultra-hi-tech, one old adage still
rings true: "never put all your eggs in one basket."
If you're planning an Internet venture (what, no hands raised?), don't
design your business so that there are critical dependencies on markets
or technologies that may disappear at "Net-speed."
The Net we'll see in just 5 years time will probably massively different
to the one we use today -- flexibility and the ability to adapt are
skills crucial to the very survival of any online business.
Just a clarification for the many who are obviously confused about the
horrible scrolling text-banners on the status-line of your browser and which
several local sites used to create that awful cursor-chasing text-ad for
pop-under/over/up windows that we all hate so much.
Java, by comparison, is a full-blown programming language like C, BASIC or
Java applets are programs which are written separately to the webpages on
which they appear and then compiled into a computer-readable code that is
loaded separately to the webpage on which they appear.
being slow-to-load and sometimes problematic -- causing the occasional
Unfortunately Java copped a bad rap shortly after it was launched because
people used it for all the wrong things -- such as replacing a 15Kbyte
animated GIF with a 100Kbyte applet.
Early versions of Java were also buggy as hell -- which clearly didn't help
the public's perception.
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