Oct 24, 2010

Apple deprecates Java what about Nokia?

On a recent announcement, Nokia announced that she will be concentrating its focus to Qt and Qt Quick as the development platform for its internal and external developers. Furthermore, Nokia announced layoffs of as much as 1800 of its personnel. Almost simultaneously, Apple announced that it is deprecating the Java on Mac OS and will not be accepting Java applications to its newly announced MacOS App Store. If you recall Apple does not support Java on its iOS platform either. From the questions that I have been receiving, it looks like these news. although not related, caused concerns about the future of JavaMe on Nokia platforms, especially on Symbian.

At this time details are very sketchy and decisions are still floating around but here is what I know. Nokia will continue to support JavaME on Symbian. Java's goal will be about compatibility. Ovi store will continue to publish JavaME applications. There is bad news as well. Nokia's investment to Java platform will decrease further. This will most likely effect the JavaME roadmap but as I said details are extremely sketchy.

Over the years, JavaME was overly neglected by Sun. Oracle acquisition has not changed that and Oracle continues on the same path and tries to milk the JavaME licensing cash without putting much investment on enhancing the platform. As a result, Java on mobile is not getting any innovation from that direction. On the other hand, It was already difficult for other companies to do anything on JavaME due to a pile of legalities.It is event more difficult, after the Oracle's move to sue Google over Android. Companies that has a legal department and access to alternative technologies are likely to shy away from making any major investment to improve JavaME. In the case of Nokia, Qt provides a much better alternative as its strategic development platform. However, Nokia over the years have invested a lot to JavaME and it has an established developer base. Hence, JavaME on Symbian is likely to continue as long as there are enough developers using it.

Dear developers, it is actually your call now, whether JavaME lives on or not. If you keep developing good applications on JavaME and publish them on Ovi store, it will, otherwise...