While Adobe is trying (or pretends to in order to keep its user base) to save Flash by announcing upcoming support for harware accelerated 3D (while still migrating its core engine to HTML5), Oracle presents expected new features in next Java FX 2.0 :
Bindings APIs, Sequence, Observable List, and Observable Map APIs, Hardware Accelerated Graphics, High Performance Animated Transitions, CSS Animations, WebView Scene Graph Node, Low Latency Audio, Full Screen Video, etc.
As with Adobe, it is then all about catching up with WebKit / HTML5 (CSS Effects, tags audio et video, Canvas, WebGL), Native Host/Cappuccino and Cocoa (WebView, bindings). We may then ask about justification for two additional proprietary implementations of these features, since WebKit has become the defacto standard (and was the source of inspiration for the specification), and Adobe still started some months ago to migrate Flash’s low level layers to these foundations.
Even Google finally discontinued O3D and focused to WebGL.
All these UI-fancy came from iPhone (UIKit based on Core Animation, WebKit’s CSS Effects based on Core-Animation – the iPhone was the first smartphone to provide hardware accelerated transitions/transforms).
Finally, as I previously said, all is about Core Animation framework, first demonstrated by Scott Forstall during Apple’s WWDC2006 (August, 7).
This is probably the reason why Scott is commonly being seen as next Apple’s leader (is more and more present, notably in iPad2’s presentation video, since Jonhatan Ive is willing to go back to England – and Apple refused remote work, probably for security reasons).