snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees recent VMware partnerships potentially heralding a new era for Java portability — this time in the cloud. Thanks to deals with Google and Salesforce, Java developers will now be able to deploy their apps on Google App Engine and Force.com. 'The bright spot for Java has always been the datacenter. But as I've mentioned before, cloud computing has the potential to fragment the server-side market by encouraging developers to code their applications to a specific cloud vendor's services and requirements,' McAllister writes. 'With VMware's partnership with Google, however, a master plan seems to be emerging. According to VMware's press release, Google and VMware's combined toolkit will allow developers to deploy their applications not just to App Engine, but to VMware platforms, Amazon EC2, and even other (unnamed) cloud platforms,
... thereby creating a kind of "middleware for the cloud" that abstracts the raw cloud services, allowing developers to write cloud-based apps that are truly portable.'"