Anyone For A Cup Of Java?

Java_logoAll you Redcliffe small business owners out there have probably used Java without knowing it because it permeates across so much of modern technology. Here we take a look at what it is, what it does and why it’s becoming more important.

What is Java?

Without getting too technical, Java is a programming language that powers everything from games, to chat programs to high-security banking and business applications. It is estimated that 1.1 billion desktops use Java around the world – that’s probably why you’ve heard of it!

It was first developed by the Sun Microsystems company in 1995 and its use has steadily grown as the Internet has grown, because of its cross-platform nature, easy compatibility and solid reliability. It is a language that allows software developers to “write once, run anywhere” – which they love!

Where it is of particular interest now is its use on mobile handsets and TV devices, which are becoming more widespread. Indeed it was reported recently that Australia has the highest per capita uptake of smartphones of any country, so we should be interested in what’s powering them.

The Internet is already about so much more than just people tapping away in front of their PCs. Mobile Internet, mobile gaming and mobile “everything” is set to play a key role in the next 10 years so let’s try to understand something of the technology behind what makes it possible.

Java Based Applications

Java is one of those programs that does its job in the background and you may not know it’s there until it’s not! Then everything stops working. It’s part of the “nuts and bolts” that keeps your computer doing what you want it to do.

If Java’s not there you may not be able to get through to your bank account or a web site will not display properly. It will tell you that you need to install Java and only then are you made aware of it.

Applications use Java because of its reputation for being fast, reliable and secure – whether running on laptops, PCs, phones, tablets, game consoles or in data centers and on supercomputers.

Java also helps to power set-top boxes, games, web cams, printers, car navigation systems, lottery terminals, medical devices and parking payment stations.

Java Applets

You may have heard of these. Java applets are programs that are embedded in other applications- usually a Web page that you will view in a browser.

This could take the form of a calculator embedded into a website or functionally that updates a graph live of the page depending on what data you input.

Wait! ALL THESE Places Use Java?

Here are some stats from Java’s own web site that may convince you of the all-reaching nature of Java these days:

  • 930 million Java Runtime Environment downloads each year
  • 3 billion mobile phones run Java
  • 31 times more Java phones ship every year than Apple and Android combined
  • 100% of all Blu-ray players run Java
  • 1.4 billion Java Cards are manufactured each year

Downloading and Installing Java

Java is free for your Redcliffe small business to download and your computer can be set to update Java automatically, which is important as each new version adds features for improved stability or security. Download the latest version (version 7) here. Now I’m off for a cup of Java…