Oct 22, 2010

Apple deprecates Java

In its typical hyperbolic yet truthful manner, The Republic reports this Wednesday's Apple announcement to deprecate Java on the new Mac OS.

On Wednesday, as Apple cult leader Steve Jobs unveiled a future Mac OS incarnation dubbed 'Lion' and a new Mac App Store, the company released a Java update for Mac OS X 10.6 — and the release notes revealed that the platform isn't long for Jobs' world. 'As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated,' the notes read.

In an obviously related move, Jobs also banned Java apps from the upcoming Mac App Store. 'Apps that use deprecated or optionally installed technologies (e.g., Java, Rosetta) will be rejected,' the store's developer guidelines say.

The Republic does not see this as a coincidence pointing out that the biggest loser in this move will be developers since they potentially won't be able to run Eclipse in future versions of the Mac OS. The main impetus looks like a strategic block of Android, as one interviewee states:

I guess Steve really, really doesn't like Android, does he?
More salient is whether or not this continued balkanization of third party run times on Mac operating systems will radicalize developers and IT decision makers. Clearly the consumer market has been good to Apple and it will continue to sell its shiny, sexy stuff, but what does that do for the businesses and users that want to use shiny, sexy stuff AND have cross platform functionality?

Apple threatens Java with death on the Mac • The Register


Richard Schwartz said...

What, if anything does this mean for Java & Eclipse-based Lotus Notes on the Mac?

Karen Hobert said...

My point exactly.

Dunno. Could be a real bummer for all those companies (vendors and customers) that have been counting on Java for cross platform support on rich user interfaces. Just when firms thought it was safe to allow users to choose Macs I suspect they will start yanking them. Too bad since there is are parts of Apple that actually take enterprise seriously. But I guess you need to look at the numbers (see my recent post on downloaded iPad apps).

Does this all make the cloud look more attractive? I don't think so, since many customers are still looking for rich apps and they aren't going to settle for OTS Apple Store stuff.

As the article points out, some 3rd party could do the heavy lifting to port Java to newer Mac OSs but that's a sur-charge that the budget conscientious might balk at. Although it's true most Mac fanbois don't seem to worry about those sorts of costs, I think that's a decision better made in SMBs or by individuals.