"Write Once Run Anywhere'': Why It Matters

An essay on the importance and feasibility of having software that runs completely unmodified on any type of computer.

Write Once, Run Anywhere: 
Why It Matters[*]

Matt Curtin 

April 9, 1998


There has been a lot of talk, and a lot written about Java. Sun's assertions that Microsoft is attempting to sabotage Java's promise of ``Write Once, Run Anywhere'' began a flurry of discussion about this promise, Microsoft's business practices, and what Sun really wants out of its Java technology.

But what does all of this mean? Who cares? Why does it even matter?

This document is an attempt to find answers to these questions. It's intended primarily for information technology managers and end users. However, it might also be of interest to developers.

For those who prefer, this document is available as PostScript and PDF.