JavaFX Hits 100,000,000 Milestone!

I have some extraordinary news to share.



As of late this evening, Sun will have shipped its 100,000,000th JavaFX runtime. Congratulations, folks! From a standing start in early December last year, JavaFX’s download rate makes it the fastest growing RIA platform on the market – demonstrating the fastest adoption of any product Sun has ever shipped.



The 100,000,000 milestone was reached just in time for us to announce the second phase of our JavaFX strategy, the release of JavaFX Mobile at next week’s Mobile World Congress. JavaFX Mobile is a runtime identical to JavaFX Desktop, but preconfigured for gizmos with very small memory footprints (like mobile phones). With our newest partners, from Sony Ericsson to LG Electronics (and more adding every day), this should add a massive breadth of mobile runtimes to the converged JavaFX count – and create even more opportunity for Java developers.


Why such a fast uptake? The Java platform continues to provide the world’s most complete open source platform for a rich internet – supported by the world’s largest developer community. JavaFX allows Sun to reach beyond our traditional base to creative professionals and non-coders working with audio, video and high performance graphics. And most importantly – JavaFX allows content owners to bypass potentially hostile browsers, to install applications directly on user desktops and phones. You’ll see that phenomenon heat up in 2009, accelerated by the emergence of “AppStores” on every device connected to the internet.


What’s our view of the overall marketplace? Here are a few thoughts.


First, freely distributed, open source software will continue to create enormous revenue opportunities for those that understand the underlying business model – as an example, the Java business for Sun, last quarter, delivered more than $67m in billings, up nearly 50% year over year. On an annualized basis, that means the Java client business (as distinct from the Java server business) is now a multi-hundred million dollar business, opening doors for Sun, and the Java community, across the planet. All built on freely available runtimes and source code. Free as in beer, free as in speech, and free as in market.



Second, devices are becoming functionally equivalent – what you can do with Flash is comparable to Silverlight, and again comparable to JavaFX. We each have our specialty, but over the long haul, my view is adoption rates and business models will be a greater driver of success than the technologies themselves. Why? Because if you’re Amazon building the extraordinary Kindle 2, it matters that Sun won’t put its business model between you and your customers – you want the technology you select to enable your business, not your supplier’s, while enabling access to the world’s largest developer community. (That said, must you use JavaFX or Flash or Silverlight to be a part of the rich internet future? Well, no – Apple used Objective-C for the iPhone, after all, completely discrediting the purist notion that if the app isn’t written with a web scripting language, it isn’t fashion forward).



Finally, the consumer electronics market is going to be infinitely more vibrant and competitive than the relatively stagnant personal computer market. Having just seen a host of new Java devices, from automobile dashboards and BluRay DVD players, to set top boxes, picture frames, VOIP phones and new consumer electronics… the economy might be cooling down, but the RIA market is definitely heating up.


The Java platform is only growing in importance and value, across billions of devices. At Sun, we’re planning on maintaining Java’s ubiquity as the number one runtime environment, backed by the world’s most price performant datacenter infrastructure, all powered by Sun’s cloud. After all, the network is the computer.


So again, congratulations to the team – and the Java community! Now, on to the next 100,000,000! (For those interested, download JavaFX SDK here.)

40 Comments

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40 responses to “JavaFX Hits 100,000,000 Milestone!

  1. I think what is done with JavaFX is great; I just hope more tools for content-creators (not programmers) would be available soon. Creating images with Nile is one thing, but what about animations, triggers, sound?
    JavaFX should add to its list of goals the total separation between content-creators and software developers so that each professional could deal with what they’re best at.

  2. Anonymous

    You have done great injustice to the FOSS community by not releasing JavaFX for Linux and your own Opensolaris. True we have all read the explanation for it, but when the competing platforms are available for Linux, I am sure with a little bit of effort and determination, it was not impossible to have had a simultaneous release.

  3. Jonathan, 100,000,000 downloads is almost as impressive as the technology itself!
    We’re very pleased with JavaFX and the support we’ve received from Sun… thank you.
    Congratulations to the entire Sun team!

  4. Congratulations on those numbers, they are impressive.
    I have a couple of questions that maybe someone knows the answers to. How does 100 million compare to the Flash’s market adoption. What is the percentage that this represents?
    The other question is what did you guys count as JavaFX downloads, are these downloads that were initiated by an application requiring JavaFX, downloads counting visits to the JavaFX main site, or does it also include any upgrades in existing Java runtimes?

  5. wayne

    Can someone tell my roughly how many flix encoders would be sold compared to the 100,000,000 javafx runtimes,do you need the flix product to go with it or is it just more tools.

  6. Where do those 100MM downloads put you compared to the big three RIA players?

  7. Geoff

    I’m sorry but you really can’t say the uptake is because of it being the leading open source solution — you haven’t even released it for the open source OSes. Not even your own Solaris. Congratulations on you 100,000,000 download, but after being a hard core Java enthusiast I have all but given up on JavaFX — and I was talking it up big ahead of time. Went to a bunch of the presentations at Java One and everything.

  8. Jon P

    I too am a bit disappointed in Sun for not releasing for Linux yet. I understand Linux is a small piece of the pie, but as a developer all I have at home is Linux and I can’t research Java FX on work time, they aren’t interested. This effectively shuts me out from trying it, even though am very interested. Please hurry and get it done soon. Overall it looks like a great platform and I have some ideas to use it for some personal endeavours, but it won’t happen until it is on Linux.

  9. It’s great that the deployment of FX is going well. The Java team has done a fabulous job so far with the whole FX platform. I’m very impressed. It’s still early days, of course, and the team still clearly has lots of work to do. I will say, though, that JavaFX Script is a huge success already. It’s really a *fun* language to program in – I think developers are going to love it.
    Need to get that Linux version out though😉 And need to get Apple to get their 64-bit Java Plug-In 2 out, as well. On mobile, need to get RIM on board with FX (btw, Blackberry needs FX badly, so I hope the RIM guys are smart enough to understand what it could do for their platform and that you’re pushing on an open door). If the FX team can deliver on those, things will start to get really interesting…

  10. I was looking forward to playing around with JavaFX. But, twice, it’s killed my browser. I’m running Safari on OSX Leopard.

  11. While there may be 100M downloads of JavaFX,
    I haven’t seen a great app written using it.
    I look forward to this app as I believe it
    speaks louder than 100M downloads.

  12. Luke deGruchy

    To those that complain that JavaFX is not available for Linux and Solaris, it *is* available, just unofficially. Granted, you have to jump through a fair number of hoops to get it working:
    Linux:
    http://www.weiqigao.com/blog/2008/12/04/using_javafx_1_0_on_linux.html
    Solaris (I tried this myself and it works!):
    http://blogs.sun.com/observatory/entry/javafx
    So those who call for Sun to release JavaFX on Linux and Solaris, please try it out.
    On the other hand, Sun should be careful not to alienate its Java open source community, since it plans to open source all (or most) of JavaFX, and will definitely need a community of maintainers outside of Sun.
    So Jonathan, one suggestion is that Sun could make easily installable, but clearly labelled "beta" versions of the SDK and IDE (Netbeans and Eclipse) plugins for Linux and Solaris. This should be an acceptable comprimise both for the JavaFX engineers who don’t think that it’s ready on those platforms, and the open source community that eagerly wants to get their hands on those tools.

  13. smathew

    @Rex Guo
    Yes – We need to see an app store for Java FX soon, if this isnt in the work already. With really compelling apps not toys.

  14. Nathan Evans

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am a HUGE Sun Supporter and it good to see that JavaFX is taking the market.
    Short Story:
    I am in College and one my Courses is Networking II. All the students were pining over windows 2008, They were busy setting up services as was I because it a requirement for the course. Everything we did in Windows 2008 I did in a Box i brought in myself which had the Solaris 10 release. As the rest of the students struggled to get services started and configured on Windows I did the same services in Solaris.
    It took half the time to set up, configure and deploy(this includes installing the services from SFW packages.) the services in Solaris as it did in windows 2008.
    Besides speed and performance(On a system that had less than half the resources than the windows server). Deployment and configuration time alone would have probably saved the amount the licenses were worth on the windows box.
    Even the hardcore windows buffs were then wondering why people use Windows over Solaris. Now i never have to explain WHY i preffer Solaris over windows again. I also enjoyed watching the windows buff insert thier foots right in thier mouths.
    I wish I had the money to have bought a SPARC so I could really put the x86 windows to shame.
    Hopefully you read this Mr. Schwarts and it puts a smile on your face. Solaris can and will win the server market!
    One more thing could you PLEASE talk to the JavaFX guys and push JavaFX on Linux and Solaris. That would be great I’m Still waiting to get my feet wet.

  15. yena

    @Luke deGruchy
    Sure you can install it on Linux, but video and audio won’t work. We need a proper port.

  16. Geertjan

    Not only have I been using JavaFX on Linux, I’ve also demonstrated it multiple times to others. Only the media parts (requiring native codecs) don’t work. Weiqi Gao’s instructions above are very good.

  17. Looks like the performance has picked up for JavaFX too (from the time it was first launched). But the samples/demos are way too simplistic IMO to take it seriously, hopefully that will change.

  18. Jerzy Krzn

    What are Silverlight’s numbers? How about Flex? I hear a lot about Silverlight, but I haven’t seen any content. And I see lots of Flash, but no Flex.
    Sun should provide an app store, I would love a way to get my product to market.

  19. Stu

    JavaFX Mobile ? Sounds great, is this going to compete with j2me?
    As for j2me, how about about some effort to standardize some of the parts, softkey-keycodes and make developers lives easier ?

  20. I have actually played around with JavaFX in January and to be frank I think you have a long way to go when it comes to documentation. Especially coupling legacy Java code with the newer JavaFX declarative syntax would be a huge boon.

  21. Thommy M. Malmström

    Jonathan, can’t you team with Amazon and some ISPs to put a Sun Ray in the Kindle? Combine it to be a full desktop when network is available and a reader when offline. Preferably with touch screen. Would make a killer product.

  22. Ivan

    when i was designer working in my web internship, my coworker told me "learn flash, its easy. it comes with 10 tutorials or so and probably will take you about 12 hours to learn pretty well."
    he was right, and i told my developer buddies the same thing wherever i went later. javafx needs this; it needs a simplified ide, it needs well-packaged tutorials, it needs simple tools for importing audio, etc whatever else you have to do. otherwise you lose that viral aspect of a great technology.
    it bothers me that as a comfortable eclipse user i still dont see anything to code javafx in except netbeans. to me, that says no thank you, i’ll stick to lwjgl or processing.

  23. It’s great to see JavaFX gain millions of supported devices, but how come Sun has never really invested any energy into JavaScript (apart from recent NetBeans integration and GlassFish project Phobos). I realize that Java and JavaScript are entirely different beasts, but with Rhino you can easily integrate JavaScript into Java, and you must admit that JavaScript (ActionScript, ECMAScript, JScript, whatever) is a very popular, simple and well-known language. Imagine if you could expose JavaFX services to JavaScript via an applet – then you’d have millions of coders who knew the language and only needed to learn a new API. Now that’s a small learning curve!
    Java and JavaFX are to languages what Sparc is to processors – good for the things they’re good for. But just as you’ve now realized the world likes X64 options in their boxes, I hope you see that many developers prefer Ruby, JavaScript, Python, C#, VB, etc – and these are all your customers – with or without Java. Even Microsoft is now bundling jQuery with VisualStudio. RIA might be hot, but Web 2.0 is far from dead. The browser really isn’t that hostile.

  24. Ben

    What the point when Sun is losing money each year?
    Nice to have lot of users but if it doesnt translate to profit
    you are nothing but a charity organisation🙂

  25. @Kevin: JavaScript wouldn’t attract as many Java developers, simply because it’s a dynamically typed, prototype-based language. So it throws out of the window 99% of the performance and correctness traits of a language like Java, with a more traditional class-based / static-typed design. I, for one, am embracing JavaFX but if JavaFX Script was a dynamic-typed language (either existing one like ECMAScript or a new language) I’d probably ignore JavaFX completely. Yeah I may be a "static-type bigot" (in my dreams Java would evolve towards Scala, not Ruby)… but I’m certainly not alone.
    People who think differently are already well served by JRuby, Jython and Groovy, and Sun is supporting those alternatives too (NetBeans, MLVM/JDK7). So the only matter of debate is whether Sun should have adopted some of these languages for its RIA platform – a good argument for ECMAScript is its popularity in the web and Flash platforms. But a plain copy of your competitors is probably not a good move when you start years behind, playing catch-up. It’s better to innovate as much as possible, even at the risk of some extra learning curve. Give early adopters some important innovations and they will embrace your cool new stuff and even put up with the inevitable disadvantages of a brand-new platform that still needs one or two major updates to mature. It’s working with me anyway🙂

  26. This is really good news about JavaFX. It is significant milestone and I think it will persaude the Enterprise Computing to consider JavaFX as a very serious contender for the richer applications marketplace, be they Internet or not.

  27. Lee Hepler

    I was just wondering if you might consider a program to ensure JAVA is available in clouds like the one Amazon is running. Maybe you could start advertising and supporting JAVA programs that don’t need a local server or even a local computer to run on. Just any device that can connect to the cloud. Power, gas and water meters. Traffic signals and road sensors that collect speed and weather data at ever mile marker or more frequently in town. RFID readers for my pantries and refrigerator that can tell me if I need to purchase a can of green beans, shampoo, or milk (using an intelligent scale). The cloud could provide a secure gateway to the devices and a central data collection point that any authorized entity could access. Not just Open Office, databases, games and other traditional applications. Why buy a server farm or even a computer if you can use your phone, TV or thin client to get the job done?

  28. Jeremy Chappell

    Given Apple’s success with the iPhone (and OS X generally) why doesn’t Sun dust off it’s OpenStep API implementation? That added (back) into OpenSolaris would be really potent. While you’re down in the virtual basement, see if you can’t find Lighthouse’s applications (they’re down their somewhere).
    Of course, some of this this tech could also create products for OS X (both touch and Mac). Maybe even things that dovetail into Sun’s "big iron" offerings (there are a lot of Mac out there doing research, and there must be some crossover between them and Sun’s customers).

  29. Jon

    "…my view is adoption rates and business models will be a greater driver of success than the technologies themselves."
    I totally agree. But what drives adoption rates? The tie-in with the Kindle 2.0 buzz on this blog is an excellent start. Do more of that.

  30. leo chan

    What is wrong with Sun? Before MySQL is part of Sun, we developers can easier download the jdbc drivers. Now, I can’t even download it by registering. It keep saying it need more information from me. Even after I submit my address and company info. It still won’t allow me to download a jdbc driver for MySQL. Why doesn’t Sun have to make things difficult?

  31. James Oakes

    JavaFX looks like a good prospect for Sun with the emergence of more powerful smart phones – I hope it performs though. I would love Apple to sort out a JRE for the iPhone on OS X (I bet they already have one working perfectly!) Then we could have JavaFX and another application development stream to boot … only trouble is that’s not Apple’s plan (can Sun and Apple sort this out please?). Is this just because Apple want a monopoly, or do they not trust other people’s code to provide the perfect end user experience?

  32. Wes Adams

    @leo chan
    There’s no mandatory info requested to download our Connector J driver from the following location:
    http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/j/5.1.html. After the selection is made, you will be taken to a page that has optional demographic information. At the bottom of the page there is a link to bypass it and go straight to our mirrors.
    If you run into any issues you can contact me directly or use our web contact form: http://www.mysql.com/about/contact/ Note that the web contact form does require you to register.
    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
    Best Regards,
    Wes Adams

  33. The most amazing part despite the huge numbers of JavFX downloads is that the adoption of client Java has been growing in such a way. I had the same impression from my own business and from talking to publishers and other Freelancers. Java on the client is stronger than ever!
    Toni

  34. Sun definitely seems to be making progress. It still needs to overcome competition.
    Just wanted to share some ideas..
    Sun should come up with a opensource java based Photoshop killer app. Photoshop, flash goes hand in hand. People who are using photoshop will choose flash.
    Also why is SunRay not entering the consumer market?
    I will buy a SunRay and I am willing to pay a monthly fee if it can provide me a virtual PC environment 24×7 with choice of virtual OS ( single/multiple), databackup service, virus protection, data storage etc.. It is such a pain to maintain multiple pcs with all the malware/virus issues. You can team up with some hosting provider. You can experiment with it. If you see opportunity scale up the offering. Also enhance the netbeans IDE to work on cloud along with this offering.

  35. Jonathan,
    The JavaFX language and features are really cool but the demos you have got out there are dreadful. All the demos take painfully slow to load (like 100x slower than flash). Some demos looking of flickr etc. are very sluggish to load even after load.
    Please, if you reading these comments then do something about them. These demos are only reinforcing java/applet reputation of slowness.
    Have you actually used the new media player you are touting? It is unusable.
    Also please support Linux and I really hope you have got a business plan figured out around this. Please don’t create something at your expense for the Websphere’s and IBMs to profit from🙂. Sun has given the world so much that it really deserves to remain live and relevant.
    Also as an aside, just accept that no one is going to buy those expensive Sun servers in the current economic scenario. Please invest in J2EE cloud computing with mysql back-end before Sun gets run over by others in this area. Also consumer computer/smartphones will be a welcome change.

  36. Malfus Drakmal

    What "expensive Sun servers" are you talking about – you’re just rehashing old stereotypes. Check this out:
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/09/02/19/07TC-sun-storage_2.html
    If you’re going to comment on their products, at least be current… compared to the garbage their peers are delivering, I’m very impressed.

  37. Anonymous

    @Leo and Wes: The blog added a period to your link – it’s just http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/j/5.1.html
    @Osvaldo: I’m not suggesting "JavaScript versus JavaFX" – I’m suggesting making them work together nicely, to leverage the huge JavaScript talent out there doing Web 2.0 stuff. For example the excellent web GUI toolkit ExtJS has extensions to work with Adobe AIR and Google’s Java-based GWT. Imagine if ExtJS could also work with JavaFX? See http://www.extjs.com/ for details.
    @hopeful and SunRay fans, Sun has a software version of the SunRay from its purchase of Tarantella a few years back. This turned into http://www.sun.com/software/products/sgd/index.jsp but was never made available to the consumer market. I agree there’s an opportunity there! Why should "GoToMyPC" have all the fun?

  38. I have a problem with this: "my view is adoption rates and business models will be a greater driver of success than the technologies themselves." Technology is what drives success. Technology and success are inseperable. Abandon the technology, and there goes your success. I think we should stay with the technology. A side effect is that it brings up all boats in the harbor. With JavaFX the goal/aim should be 100% market share. Be tenacious. Be ruthless.🙂

  39. @Kevin: Granted, but I just don’t see any good role that JS could play with the code executed _by the JVM_ and not by a browser. I know ExtJS, it’s a popular JS library for Web 2.0 web-apps, and it keeps JS running in the browser. Solutions like Rhino are different, why would I use JS to write my business logic or even a rich client app (using Swing or anything)? Yeah there are many JS libraries out there, perhaps a few of them are not browser/DOM-centric, but that would pale against the availability of libraries/frameworks, tools and other resources for either Java or other popular dynamic languages (if you like’em) including those already well-supported by the JVM like JRuby and Groovy. Adding JS to that mix just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t help that Rhino’s performance is abysmal, although that’s mostly an implementation issue and could be optimized just like JRuby and others.

  40. a Java Evangelist

    You really need to support OGG (Vorbis+Theora) plus other royalty-free codecs on _all platforms_. The current codecs from On2 don’t match the cross-platform and open source nature of Java. Since you are distributing the same On2 codecs as Adobe, it only serves to sell On2’s content creation software. This only makes sense if you intend to buy On2. I don’t get it. Please explain.

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