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Java and Microsoft.net product

What is Java and why is it important? How does it compare to Microsoft's .NET product. What are the determining factors for using each

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Java is a programming language expressly designed for use in the distributed environment of the Internet. It was designed to have the "look and feel" of the C++ language, but it is simpler to use than C++ and enforces an object-oriented programming model. Java can be used to create complete applications that may run on a single computer or be distributed among servers and clients in a network. It can also be used to build a small application module or applet for use as part of a Web page. Applets make it possible for a Web page user to interact with the page.

source: http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid26_gci212415,00.html

Java is one of the most popular software technologies in the industry today. With the power of platform-independence, portability, and vendor-independence, Java has become a vital component of most IT infrastructures in businesses, organizations, and communities worldwide. Sun Microsystems has achieved Java support on every possible computing device by defining different platform editions, such Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE), Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME), and the Java Card Platform Edition. With overwhelming successes, the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform is the platform of choice for developing and deploying large-scale Web-centric ...

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What is Java and why is it important? How does it compare to Microsoft's .NET product. What are the determining factors for using each

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