(*) - if MS owned Java, you can bet your ass there'd have been an entire marketing campaign getting world + dog to upgarde to java 5, AND they would have put 50 coders onto making a so-easy-to-use-every-tech-illiterate-CEO-can-manage-it upgrade of webstart, and making sure it:
- worked (in 95% of cases)
- was really, really user-focussed (even if it had some nasty user-unfriendliness that could have bene better - you can be sure there'd be none of this "if you don't make a shortcut NOW then this app will disappear. HAHAHAHAAHAH!")
Microsoft wouldn't need to do any of that... just like they didn't do any of that to educate *consumers* about the CLR and .Net
They have a huge monopoly. They just have to include it in Windows or "Windows Update" and 90% of the world gets it.
As for user-focused... MS is extremely bad at that too. Take a look at MS Word - packed full of useless features to most people, and simple things are difficult, like getting a table to look like you want, or anchoring a graphic and having the text around it do what you want. Or there is Windows Explorer - the core file browser of their OS that has been totally broken for so many years.. with it's tree views that never refresh properly, showing deleted folders long after they are gone, and not showing new folders. Where deleting a single empty directory might take tens of seconds.
MS deserves no respect in that regard. They have what they have because of unfortunate consequences of IBMs marketing in the early 80's and maybe a couple good business decisions (and several illegal ones) after that... the quality of their product is certainly not the reason they enjoy the monopoly they have now.