The Sun-Microsoft settlement seems to mean a lot of different things to a lot
of different people, but I realize that my needs are very simple:  I want
to be able to write Java code for the .Net platform.

I don’t mean writing Java on a Windows platform (I do that every day and it’s
working very well), but being able to access the native Win32/.Net API’s from
Java.  Right now, if I want to write an add-in for Outlook, I need to
switch to C#.  Not a huge deal in itself, and it’s actually a fairly
pleasant experience, but I was promised "Java everywhere" and I’m still waiting.

Hopefully, the Sun-Microsoft settlement will make this possible.

On a related note, it’s interesting to see how things change.  A few
years ago, writing native code for Windows meant:  switching back to C++
(bad) and Visual Studio (good).  Now, it means switching to C# (good) and
Visual Studio (bad).

Don’t get me wrong:  Visual Studio remains an outstanding IDE and if
anything, it is more powerful now than it was five years ago.  It’s just
that today, modern Java IDE’s blow it out of the water…

Hopefully, in a couple of years from now, deciding to write native code for
Windows (or for any platform for that matter) will mean switching to both
languages and tools that are equally pleasant to use as those I am using today.