2008 – The Year of Client Java?

My friend Joshua from Sun has predicted that “2008 will be the year that client Java starts taking market share from Flash”. This is a pretty bold prediction reminding me of when I used to hear this same sort of statement about Desktop Linux… “1999 will be the year of Desktop Linux”.

Don’t get me wrong… I love Desktop Linux. Been using it since about 1993. And I love Java. Been using it since 1996. But lets be honest about the reality of client Java, desktop Linux, anything that touches the mass consumer space. It has to just work. I’m thankful that Ubuntu and the Consumer JRE are headed this direction. But Flex and Flash are there today! Flash just works. So much so that in the first nine months, Flash Player 9 reached 84% adoption in the US and is likely well beyond 90% currently. That is a platform you can rely on. One you can build on today. Tons of consumer Flex applications have already been deployed. And tons more are not visible because they are still being built or behind the corporate firewall.

So to my friend Joshua and his pals at Sun: Keep up the good work. Seriously! I’m excited about where you are going!

And to the people building Rich Internet Applications: As JD says, “You can ship with Flash.” Not in 2008, but today.