In January 2010, soon after acquiring Sun Microsystems, Oracle shared its plans for Java at a customer event. In a recent report based on this information, IDC analysts concluded that Oracle faces some important challenges that must be addressed if Java is to stay competitive with other languages and platforms such as Microsoft’s .NET.
One of these has to do with Java itself. The complex array of available Java runtimes and frameworks has proven a mixed blessing, enabling Java to be used in many different ways while at the same time, according to IDC analyst Al Hilwa, “undermining its elegance and practicality.”
In acquiring Sun, Oracle also acquired software that competes with some of its own products. In addition to its own JRockit Java Virtual Machine (JVM), JDeveloper integrated development environment (IDE), and WebLogic application server, it now owns Sun’s HotSpot JVM, NetBeans IDE, and GlassFish application server. Meanwhile there are the wishes of the broader Java community to consider: the HotSpot JVM, for example, is more widely used than JRockit.