Microsoft shopping for Java alternative

Travis Griggs tgriggs at
Mon Feb 15 19:41:28 UTC 1999

Jan Bottorff wrote:

> I see at,4153,1013901,00.html
> that Microsoft may be shopping for a Java alternative. Perhaps we could
> convince them Smalltalk would be a viable option. :)
> Microsoft injecting $50M into Smalltalk would probably do wonders for it's
> popularity. Smalltalk is an ANSI standard language and there are already a
> number of Smalltalk developers around. They could also probably buy a
> decade of already developed technology, to get things rolling fast. Sounds
> like a lot shorter path than creating a brand new language.
> I suppose a prototype based language like Self or even JavaScript might be
> options. A JavaScript like language with rich class libraries and serious
> implementation technology might also be a killer language.
> On the downside, Microsoft probably has no interest in platform portability.
> On the upside, I'm for almost anything that moves things away from the C++
> universe.

PUH-LEASE NOOO! Help us all if something like this happens. The only thing I
good see about "Cool" is that there will be two competitors in the total
vaporware arena and while they're duking it out, we can get more done with

And now to be a little more pragmatic and cooled down... While using Smalltalk
might sounds like a shorter path, I would contend that it is not. Smalltalk has
quite a few widespread and totally wrong negative myths floating around about
it. Why would Microsoft marketing personal waste copious amounts of resources
trying to disprove these, when it could generate a new and unheard of language
with no track history. No track history means that the only thing you have to
waste resources on is telling eutopic stories of how this language will change
the world. This fits the "new and cutting edge and unkown" niche that Java has
capitilized on so well.

Travis Griggs (a.k.a. Lord of the Fries)
Key Technology
tgriggs at
Member, Fraven Skreiggs Software Collective
 - C for Sinking
 - Java for Drinking
 - Smalltalk for Thinking
 ...and Power to the Penguin!

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