Microsoft will make its Express developer tools for beginners free permanently. That's something that'll encourage novices to choose the .Net platform over Java.
I believe Microsoft has thought...and thought deep about the future of its development platform and where it stands vis-a-vis Java. Though I'm not much in the loop on this one, I believe .Net will gradually wrestle market share away from Sun's Java. The killer blow can be delivered when Microsoft decides to port its develpment platform to other Operating Systems.
I've come across corporates migrating from the Java to .Net platform, but none doing a reversal of this. If this is indication enough, I'm sure the Java commuinty has a lot to worry about. Java's inherent strenght lies in its being open and a de facto standard for web & enterprise development. Microsoft has traditionally been the biggest foe of anything open source, a vice that'll surely impede its communal development. And since the Net embraces a multiplicity of devices and operating systems, staying exclusively loyal to Windows may also hurt its longterm growth.
I guess Microsoft will eventually be forced to jettison some of its tried-and-tested business practices. The sooner it does, the better.