What Apple Didn’t Say

Wes Felter points out an interesting thing that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the coverage of yesterday’s Apple announcements. Lost in the noise about the new G5 systems was the news of Panther Server, the next generation of the OS X server platform. What’s interesting about this is a little note found on Apple’s page describing the product:

High-performance Java application server — Mac OS X Server is now the easiest way to develop and deploy applications based on Sun’s J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) standard. It features a built-in JBoss application server for running J2EE applications, including Enterprise Java Bean components.

Huh, so Apple can call JBoss a real J2EE app server. That would be news to Sun, since JBoss has yet to be certified J2EE compliant, which is generally the accepted criterion for being able to claim that something is a “J2EE app server” (as opposed to, say, a “servlet container” or something ambiguous like that).

Sun has been zealous about keeping up their control of the J2EE brand, so this isn’t just a minor matter of semantics. Apple is saying that JBoss is J2EE whether Sun says so or not. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love JBoss and think it’s probably the player with the most growth potential in the Java market today. But one wonders if Apple’s marketers are just overselling the product here, or if this is a deliberate shot by Apple across Sun’s bow for some reason. Either way, it should be interesting to watch this play out.