From what I got here are some quick comparisons:
- Your apps can be compiled on the server (via a Java Servlet) or precompiled offline and uploaded.
- Backwards compatible with Flash 7 and 8
- Users need Flash Player 9.
- Has an awesome IDE for building the app (although don’t expect it to be free or the trial verison to last forever).
If there is one reason Flash took off like it did years ago, it’s because of the ease of builiding stuff in it. Applets should have probably done what Flash did, but they were slow to load up, involved tons of code and programming. With Flash, lots of people didn’t have to know how to code, they could simple build their graphics, drag and drop, make simple animations and add some ActionScript. Although I remember Sun mentioning they are looking into ways to get Java to work for RIA for the web more easily and Microsoft entered the arena with their Silverlight.