>failure of standardization at software level, the standardization happened
>at hardware level - the PC.
>
>The exact same process is happening again. There is a need for
>cross-platforms applications, and since languages are still unable to be
>really portable, we see the standardization happening a (virtual) hardware
>level: the JVM.

  Cross-platform applications are a tiny niche indeed.  Wintel is
nearly the whole game, economically speaking.  I understand even
Stephen King's internet story came out only on Windows.  If
standardization was a problem, languages could handle it - but
OS/API libraries are the locus of the big differences.  Java is
useful for downloaded programs because programs in any other
language are too big and too likely to harbor destructive viruses.

  BTW, if you wanted to record long TV shows, like football games,
early VHS was technically superior to Beta.  Ada is technically
superior to C for reliable software, which few want, and perhaps
for embedded software, for which there are few Ada 95 compilers.
It may in fact be superior for quick and dirty Windows software
too, but few know that and fewer will take the time to learn.
<end rant>