I was working with IE7 on a library machine (the only browser available, alas)the other day and ran into this problem while doing an upload to Facebook – no Java available for an upload of photos from my laptop. No problem – Sun and Java have kissed and made up; Suns Scott McNealey has resigned, and Bill Gates will be retiring from Microsoft. So the two antagonist are gone from the scene. And Bill Gates even issued his famous “Mea culpa” for not updating IE for five years (it took them seven). So Suns Java should be the honored guest of IE7. Not exactly:

What? How could this be ? I checked with the Microsoft website. And sure enough, it was true Java and Microsoft had kissed and made up as of April 2004.

Well truth be told you can get to the Java plugin after going through 4, yes count them 4 web pages including two very long ones on Microsofts website(be sure to scroll to the bottom to find the link buttons). So now whats going on? Is this the way that Microsoft treats you after kissing and making up? Or is it just another case of zero-sum gamesmanship from Redmond – “our mandate means that no win-win is allowed but everybody has to come in second to us and dead last if they carry even a whiff of being a possible serious competitor.” And of course Java and JavaFx are just that for .NET and Silverlight; hence the SmashFace treatment from Microsoft.

And just to check that my impression was not exaggerated I downloaded Firefox 3.0 beta 1 – and went to Facebook again. This time the Java download from Sun was done in one click with Firefox and the whole operation took less than 3 minutes and I was good to go.

I keep saying that IE is just an opportunity for Microsoft to make mischief, mayhem and Machiavellian menace in the Web World and on its next Ballmer Bully target. Why support such malevolence? Switch to Firefox, Opera or Safari – they are all clearly better than IE7 – and you will have a better Internet experience guaranteed while sleeping better at night.