Some decisions have far-reaching consequences. For example, the choice of where to live. You invest so much time, energy, and money into moving house; it’s not a decision you can easily reverse.

The same principles apply to choosing coding languages for software development projects. The language features have a huge impact on what’s possible in your project. The deeper you get into such a project, the harder it is to change direction.

In app development, you often face the dilemma of .NET vs Java. This article will weigh the pros and cons of each.

.NET vs Java: An Overview

The .NET Framework is popular because it’s developed by Microsoft. It’s known for being a very versatile framework that has support for various coding languages. If your project is something like a C# QR code reader, .NET could be what you’re looking for.

If your company uses Windows and Azure services, you’ll find .NET easy to integrate.

Java, on the other hand, was created by Sun Microsystems and is now maintained by Oracle. Unlike the .NET Framework, which is closely linked to Microsoft and therefore Windows, Java isn’t tied to any particular operating system.

Cross-Platform Options

Java runs on a Java Virtual Machine, so it’s theoretically capable of running on any system. From Windows and Linux to macOS, you’ll struggle to find an operating system Java won’t run on. .NET has made significant improvements in recent years towards cross-platform compatibility. While it’s now possible to use .NET with macOS and Linux, it’s hard to beat Java for multi-platform compatibility.

Performance Comparison of .NET and Java

With performance, there’s no clear winner. Quite often, the best-performing language depends on your use case. For example, if fast startup times are important to you, you might want .NET and its ReadyToRun capabilities.

But, if you’re more concerned about good runtime performance, Java could have the edge. Through a process called adaptive optimization, Java can achieve incredible performance after a short warm-up period on most systems.

Cost and Licensing

Of course, all this programming debate doesn’t mean much if your company can’t afford the costs. The expenses for using .NET or Java largely depend on your use case. .NET Core and later versions are open-source and free to use, but you might also need access to Microsoft services like Azure.

For Java, you may require a subscription for commercial use, although OpenJDK offers an open-source and free alternative.

Customer Support

Both Oracle and Microsoft are huge corporations. Both companies offer extensive support. With that said, a lot of support doesn’t come from official channels; it comes from the user base.

Java has somewhat of an edge over .NET in that it has a massive global community of users. No matter how niche your problem is, you’ll certainly find a Java support group to help out.

.NET vs Java: There’s No Easy Decision

As with a lot of technology comparisons, the .NET vs Java debate doesn’t have an easy answer. It all depends on your use case. Before choosing a language, take the time to holistically evaluate your project requirements and long-term goals.

The decision you make here could affect your company for decades, so it makes sense to take the time to get it right. Interested in reading more about technology? Check out the rest of our blog posts.

author avatar
Aanchal Rao