Those who know me and especially my former students will certainly be surprised reading this post. Though it doesn’t try to erase the clear advantages the Java EE platform enjoys comparing with .NET (from a business perspective), this post surely does show respect to Microsoft’s business management. They surely know how to run their business. An essential componet in securing developers’ interests.

This post focuses on Java EE only. It doesn’t refer to the mobile market where most client application are developed in Java, whether dealing with BlackBerry, standard Java ME handsets, Symbian based handsets or Android based ones.

Since the emergence of Java EE in 1998 and its dominant market share during the early yeas of this centruy (2000-2003) something has happened.

In a research carried by during 2007 it was identified that nearly 49% of all enterprises focus primarily on .NET, an additional 12% focus exclusively on .NET and only 20% of all enterprises focus primarily on Java with an additional 3% that focus solely on it.

In a small jobs search I have just executed at AllJobs, one of Israel’s most popular jobs website, I found that there are 5 times more available jobs in .NET (searching for ‘.net’ generated 641 results) than in Java EE (searching for ‘J2EE’ generated 140 results).

Based on my familiarity with the Isareli local training market I can disclose that most of the israeli training centers succeed to open (4-5 times) more .NET related courses than Java EE ones.

Nevertheless, I failed trying to find big organizations (as international companies, banks or insurance companies) that focus primarily on .NET.  Most giants I know still prefer to focus primarily on Java EE.

Should be expect Java EE to become the next ‘cobol’? I doubt. As cobol lacks the beauty most developers find in Java I cannot see that happens in the near future.

Should we expct Java EE market share to continue its shrink? Given the relatively high salaries in the Java EE domain (even comparing with the salaries in .NET), as it happened during the late 90’s of the previous century when applets lost their dominance mainly due to development cost, and given the problematic Java EE learning curve, one can certainly expects that to happen.

The reality isn’t ‘white & black’. The forces driving the Java EE and the .NET markets are complex in their nature. Getting one clear conclusion isn’t trivial. I will be more than happy to get feedbacks including references for other researches showing other aspects of our reality as well as getting feedbacks showing other thoughts about this topic.

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