MS details Jump-off point for Windows Java dev

But it's Not There yet, as we used to say about something else...

Microsoft has announced a Java migration path to .NET, in a move that currently looks more like circling the wagons than an aggressive assault on Sun's turf. The Java User Migration Path (JUMP) to .NET offers a set of tools to help developers using Microsoft's Visual J++ to convert to C# and .NET, but it's only due to beta this half, and to ship sometime in the second half of this year.

According to the terms of this week's legal settlement between Sun and Microsoft, Microsoft can carry on shipping its existing Java product for another seven years, and it's already not exactly current. So the Microsoft developers already inside the tent are in serious need of an out, probably sooner rather than later. Granted you're already in possession of the Redmond shilling, JUMP fits the bill apart from the schedule - you were probably already committed to the road to .NET anyway.

But JUMP doesn't look like an immediate draw for developers who're not already committed. It's not here yet, .NET's not here yet, and while they could find themselves blindsided a couple of years down the line if the .NET plan works, that's by no means certain yet.

Probably, we can look forward to lots of retro-nostalgia in the 'Bill deliberately broke my software' department. Microsoft won't be using any Sun code in JUMP, it says, but as the company charges off in one direction while Sun steadfastly plods in accordance with its own roadmaps, Java-.NET interoperability issues should prove a rich seam to mine for name-calling and - oh yes - more lawsuits. This is not, as somebody once said, the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning... ®

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