Microsoft still pursuing Java market share

Microsoft Corp. issued a beta release of version 3.0 of the Java Language Conversion Assistant (JLCA) tool this week — a move that one industry analyst said is an attempt by the company to gain market share for .Net.

“Both Java and .Net camps are positioned as all-in-one — mobile, desktop and server environments…skirmishes will continue to occur at the platform, application, and presentation layers of the software stack,” said David Senf, analyst at IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto.

“Offering organizations the ability, therefore, to migrate from any of these layers has significant install-base ramifications across the other layers.”

Microsoft is positioning JLCS as a means for organizations to switch from the complexity and costs of Java to the ease of development and lower total cost of ownership of .Net, Senf explained.

It’s a tool that looks “under the hood” of Java applications and rewrites the code for use within the .Net framework and Microsoft’s Visual C# .Net, he said, adding that the tool is targeted less at developers and more at gaining market share for .Net.

Featured in version 3.0 is the ability to convert J2EE 1.3 applications including Java server pages (JSP) — server side technology — and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), which is a Java application program interface developed by Sun Microsystems Inc. that defines a component architecture for a multi-tier client/server system.

An alphabet soup of other Java technologies can be moved over also, including EJB, Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS), Java Cryptography Extension (JCE), Java Message Service (JMS), Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) and Remote Method Invocation (RMI), according to Microsoft.

Client conversion also has been boosted, with deeper support for migrating Swing applications, Microsoft said.

Applications and services converted with JLCA will run only in the .Net Framework.

On the heels of last week’s announcement that Services for Unix (SFU) will ship free of charge, Microsoft was able to up the ante in the strategic tug-of-war against the opposing Linux camp, Senf said.

“With the rise in Linux popularity and the increase in Java installations and developers, Microsoft is attempting to stem this tide by easing the switch to the Microsoft platform.”

But organizations making the switch to or from Microsoft must account for both tactical and strategic implications such as costs associated with training, development and maintenance.

Users interested in joining the beta program can log on to

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