Earlier last month, Ars Technica had a pretty good catch-me-up on the efforts of Sun and Microsoft to introduce "external" dynamic language support to their respective runtime environments Java and .NET (see .NET and Java to get better dynamic language support). By external, I mean languages that don't come from the company in the first place. While the Java Runtime Environment is all about Java, the .NET Common Language Runtime has long supported multiple Microsoft languages (ie: Visual Basic and C#). Ever since Tim Bray joined Sun, he's been publicly discussing other languages in the context of JRE support -- a quest that began around the time "Larry Wall and Dan Sugalski (Perl and Parrot), Guido van Rossum, Samuele Pedroni and Sean McGrath (Python), and James Strachan (Groovy)" were invited back in '04 to a summit at Sun's campus in the valley to discuss "Dynamic Java."
In a bit of a stab at Sun, Ars Technica's Ryan Paul wrote (in the aforelinked article):
In an uncharacteristically perceptive statement from Sun, Sun Computational Theologist Gilad Bracha admits, "It has come to our attention that some people want to program in things other than Java."
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been on its own quest to add support for an incredibly popular scripting language -- Python -- to the .NET engine. Earlier this year, in January, Microsoft released the first beta of its IronPython offering and with today comes news that IronPython has officially shipped. Standing somewhat in contrast to the open source licenses that are typically applied to Python-related technologies, the Release 1.0 Production version of IronPython is available under Microsoft's shared-source license.