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Choose Apple In the Enterprise – Get Screwed

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Apple | Posted on 29-10-2007

That is the message Apple is sending to its enterprise customers with the release of its new Leopard operating system according to reports coming in from Java developers.  Apple isn’t supporting Java 6.0 on Leopard and there are tons of problems even running the IDE on previous version.  Enough to drive one Java developer away from Apple completely and others screaming when is Java 6 going to be supported.

image It makes you wonder what Dale Frantz (pictured left) is going to do as a CIO who switched his entire company over to Mac OS X as reported in Computer World back in July.  The plan as he described it was to write Java applications and have them run on Mac OS X.  Sounds reasonable, but ONLY if the vendor supports the same idea Dale!

Apple has been known to not care what anyone wants but themselves.  At least Microsoft is open to ideas from those in the community and try to at least listen and embrace what the community wants.  The other thing Microsoft does in this area is communicate its plan when products will be supported and when they will not.  It is VERY important for an enterprise to know if what it is doing today is going to be here tomorrow.  Imagine if Microsoft when it shipped Windows Vista didn’t support Java.  Can you imagine?  Or even worse, Microsoft decides down the road in 2009 to not support .Net 3.5 after a year or so.  Can you imagine the chaos that would spewed on the Internet?  I can’t.  Yet the “new evil empire” can.

For those of you *thinking* about switching your company over to Apple products entirely heed my warning and take it to heart. You WILL get screwed by Apple in more than one way.  Either you will buy new hardware right before new hardware is released which means you should have paid less, or you don’t get future upgrades, or they simply don’t tell you what they are doing to their products or they remove a language your developers need.  At some point they will cost you money.  Ask yourself can you sleep at night not knowing what is going to happen with the decision you are going to make.  Honestly you’d be better off using Linux over Apple but that is another topic.

Apple, I want to like you.  I have two notebooks of yours and I want to write applications for your platform, but until you pull your head out of your crotch I’m going to have to stick to writing .Net code and continue swallowing the blue pills.


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Comments (3)

Why should Apple provide Java at all?

More importantly, if MS were to stop the support of Java on Vista or any other OS, they would get in so much trouble for hindering competition. You could also use the “Don’t Kill the VB6 runtime” rumble from a few years back … it’s not in their best interest to do so.

I agree with Michael’s RoR comment. RoR is the new “it girl” in Web development. Not necessarily because it’s “better” but because it has a stronger community influence than Java does.

I’m certainly not an early adopter, but have been considering getting a macbook in the next few months (actually, more likely next spring). I know you’ve had some for years (as did Ryan), but I’ve only seriously considered it since the Intel move. Seeing the dual cores and being able to dedicate one core via vmware (or was it parallels) is pretty slick. However, as someone who’s had a few toes in the Java world the past several months, I’m put off by Apple not supporting Java more – specifically, the no 6.0 support.

I do feel like asking, though, why doesn’t someone else put it out? When MS put out a Java, Sun screamed about it (for several reasons, only some of which I think were valid). Now a platform vendor is *not* including Java and catching flack for it. I’m not that invested in either platform (apple/ms/sun) so as an observer it seems a bit odd.

I would say Apple *is* being responsive to their market, or at least part of it. Noticed all those RubyOnRails dudes sporting MacBookPros the past few years? Leopard includes a full RoR stack – that wasn’t an accident. Given that Sun is supporting RoR more than other Java tech like Groovy, perhaps Apple is just following Sun’s lead?

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