Microsoft is boasting that it has surpassed Java usage with .net and is preparing to make its application development platform more conductive to web services.
"When we started out a year ago, it was hard. We were still behind Java by a considerable margin. They were about 30% share. But we actually launched the product and made some amazing traction, started to catch up," said Microsoft senior vice-president of server and tools Eric Rudder.
"Luckily, Java flattened out and we've actually passed Java usage with .net usage, and this trend actually shows no sign of abating. So overall, competitively, we're doing fairly well."
Sun Microsystems, the inventor of Java, disagreed with Rudder's claims.
"I'm certainly extremely sceptical of .net passing Java. There is a difficulty in measuring the market because .net is all bundled together" in Windows, said Sun's Ralph Galantine, group marketing manager for Java technologies.
"There's a substantial Unix server market, and all those machines aren't going to run .net," he added.
There are an estimated three million Java developers and Sun hopes to boost that number to 10 million in the next several years through efforts to make it easier to use Java, Galantine said.
"We're still seeing good growth in J2EE development and good growth in Java developers," said Galantine. "People are choosing Java for web services development strongly."
Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld