Just When it Was Looking Really Good for Java

Sun’s incredibly far-reaching deal to make Java a part of the Blu-ray spec was looking like it could have well and truly put Java into every living room in the civilised world. And it still stands a fighting chance – especially as Sony’s PlayStation 3 will use the Blu-ray format. That is, if Sony don’t lose the race before it’s begun (unlikely given the competition’s current teething problems) or manage to alienate the public that they’re so relying on for the PS3 to succeed.

But – assuming all goes well on that front – just when it looked as if Blu-ray had finally won the next-gen DVD war against HD-DVD (more or less), thus securing Java’s dominance in our living rooms... from out of nowhere, didn’t Maxell just have to go and announce that they’ll be releasing 300GB holographic discs by "late 2006"... potentially rendering Blu-ray obsolete?

In one sense I’m thinking "Damn them!"; in another, I’m thinking "Ooh, 300GB disks, goody!"

Although the system will initially offer "just" 300GB with a transfer rate of 20MBps, Maxell claim that the technology (developed by InPhase Technologies) should be capable of storing a whopping 1.6TB per disk, with a 120MBps throughput.

It’ll be interesting to see how Blu-ray shapes up to this new challenge. There’s currently just so much momentum behind Blu-ray, with so many big-name companies backing the format, it would be difficult to see them simply rolling over and giving up. And besides, "late 2006" is most likely corporate marketing-speak for "give us a call when we’re about halfway through 2007, actually best make that 2008 to be on the safe side."

So Blu-ray – and thus the future of Java in our living rooms – seems pretty secure for now.

About the Author

Matt Stephens is a senior architect, programmer and project leader based in Central London. He co-wrote Agile Development with ICONIX Process, Extreme Programming Refactored, and Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML - Theory and Practice.