Job’s Java-less future for Mac OS X is confusing for Java developers

One of Job’s announcements mixed in the week’s news about Mac OX Lion and the new MacBook Airs etc was that the Java JVM for Mac OS X was being ‘deprecated’ and would not be further developed beyond the current release.

Although Java on the desktop has never really taken a foothold, Java for serverside enterprise development is as active and widespread as it ever has been in it’s 14 years of existence. The decision to end development of Java for the Mac is got to be puzzling for many Java developers, especially since a large number of Java developers chose to use the Mac as their development platofrm of choice. Don’t believe this? Stop by the next Java conference and see many people sitting around between sessions and see what laptops people are using – Mac, Mac, Mac… I’ve never attended a Mac conference, but I can safely say I’ve never seen as many Mac laptops in one place as I have at a JavaOne conference.

So for myself as a Java developer and no doubt for other Java developers who use a Mac, there’s some head scratching going on right now. It’s not the end of the world though since there’s bound to be an alternative JVM that will come from elsewhere, but it’s still a bit confusing to say the least.

I have to say that I love my Mac. I was a recent switcher to the Mac and I’ll never go back to another Windows based PC. As a Java developer though, I have no interest in owning an iPhone since there is no Java support on the iPhone. Why would I own/use a device that does not support the technology that I have spent the last 13 years of my career working with when there are other devices that do suport Java? It’s a no brainer choice for me to use Android phones, and yes I have developed apps and have them available in the Android Market.

So Jobs announcement that there won’t be any Apple developed future releases of Java for the Mac, plus the news that an App store is coming for the Mac is sounding a bit too ‘closed’ for my liking. I know Jobs and guys at Google have been swapping quotes on open vs closed over the past few weeks, but I honestly don’t want to use a platform that is as restrictive as the iPhone. If Mac OS X continues to become more iOS like, and have apps controlled and supplied via an iPhone-like App Store, I’m not too sure I want to stay around on the Mac platform. Depending where this goes I might just find that my next notebook or desktop will be a generic PC running Linux.

Sorry Mr Jobs, but I don’t like what I’m seeing right now, and I’m already walking towards the door to make an exit from the Mac, as I’m sure others in my same situation are too…

Steve Jobs ranting about Android vs iPhone mostly FUD and untrue

Steve Jobs took time on the Apple financial call yesterday to discuss how the iOS platform is better than Android, since the ‘open’ platform of Android is becoming fragmented while the ‘closed’ iOS platform remains consistent. He gave an example of how the developers of TweetDeck apparently were frustrated developing the Android version of the app because they had to deal with too many variations of the Android platform which made development more difficult than for iOS

This kicker in this story – the CEO for the company that develops TweetDeck publicly responded, appropriately via Twitter, saying that they said no such thing. In fact they countered Jobs statement saying that developing for Android was cool because their app can run on so many different devices which shows how little the issue of perceived fragmentation actually is, and that the actual development was easy and that they only have 2 developers working on the Android app.

Hmm. Something not adding up there. Someone’s not doing their research, or Apple just dropped some unbelievable unsubstantiated FUD that only Microsoft has been successful of previously pulling off.

There’s no doubt that the iPhone has been wildly successful, but this week was the first week I overhead more than one conversation of people deciding to ditch their iPhones for an Android phone instead. If this is any indication of a change across other iPhone users, then it’s understandable why Jobs spent time on the investor call to give the sell on why iOS is better than Android. Shame he didn’t get his facts right.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 coming on Monday – does anyone really care?

Microsoft are having yet another try at getting a foothold in the mobile phone market, this time with Windows Phone 7. cnet ask if the launch of Windows Phone 7 will be the ‘defining moment’ for Ballmer. After a string of half-hearted mobile products, including different versions of Windows Mobile that attempted and failed to bring the Windows desktop metaphor to the smaller form factor of the mobile phone, the Microsoft Kin which came and went without hardly anyone noticing, Windows Phone 7 has a lot to live up to.

I’ve said many times before, I think Microsoft under Ballmer’s direction has lost it’s way – they’ve been milking the Windows and Office cash cows for too long and the rest of the tech world is leaving them by. For Microsoft to have a success with a new mobile phone platform they’ve got to come out with something earthshattering to catch up and compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform. Those trains have long left the station and have gathered immense momentum, it’s going to be pretty hard for anything new from Microsoft to catch up at this point. We’ll wait and see what Microsoft pulls out of the bag on Monday.