Java and C#

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C# vs Java: Differences you should Know

Posted in Java, C#

If you have landed here then either you are getting into software development and learning to code and wondering from which language to begin with or just weighing two languages amongst each other then this is the right article for you to read further.

C# and Java are both imperative languages i.e. a programming paradigm that uses a statement that changes a program’s state. Now let us study the two languages and weigh the differences between C# vs Java.

What is C#?

Developed by Microsoft around 2000, as its .NET initiative, C# is a multi-paradigm programming language. It offers programming disciplines like strongly typed, lexically, scoped, generic, object-oriented, and component-oriented. C# is one of the programming languages that is designed for the CLI (Common Language Infrastructure).

The language was soon declared as an international languages standard by ECMA and ISO with the following design goals:

  • The language is intended to be a modern, simple, object-oriented programming language.
  • C# implementations provide support for software engineering principles. Principles such as array bounds checking, garbage collection, and more.
  • The language offers portability and thus can be executed on different platforms.
  • C# provides support for internationalization.
  • Applications for both embedded systems and OS are supported by C#.

History of C#

  • It was designed by Andres Hejlsberg in1999.
  • It was originally named Cool which stood for C-like Object-Oriented Language.
  • In Nov 2005, C# 2.0 was released with the addition of generics.
  • Later it got its name C# inspired by musical notation. This name was also used by Microsoft earlier in the year 1988 for an incompleted project.

Features of C#

  • It was derived from C++ and Java.
  • It is part of Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Simple
    • No pointers
    • No operators like “::” or “->”
    • Varying ranges of primitive types.
    • Memory management and garbage collection is automatic and does not need explicit code.
  • Modern
    • Built according to the current trend.
    • Powerful, scalable, robust.
    • Any component can be turned into a web service with built-in support.
  • Object-Oriented
    • Supports OOP concepts such as inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism, interfaces, etc.
    • C# introduces structures enabling primitive types to become objects.
  • Type-Safe
    • It does not allow us to perform unsafe casts.
    • Reference types are initialized to null and value types are initialized to zero by the compiler automatically.
    • Arrays are bound checked and are zero-based indexed.
  • Interoperability
    • Includes native support for the COM and windows based applications.
    • Components from VB NET can directly be used in C#.

What is Java?

Developed by Sun Microsystems and designed by James Gosling in 1995, Java is a class-based, object-oriented multi-paradigm language. It is designed with the WORA concept i.e. Write Once Run Anywhere and thus is called platform-independent language. Applications in Java are compiled to bytecode that can run execute on any JVM regardless of its underlying OS and architecture. It offers its applications in web development and other Android-based software for several devices. High-level applications of Java include embedded systems, desktop, and applications. Devices such as smartphones, ATMs, home security systems and more are all supported by Java.

Primary goals of Java:

  • It must be simple and object-oriented.
  • It must be robust and secure.
  • It must execute the high performance.
  • It must be interpreted, threaded, and dynamic.

History of Java

  • In June 1991, the project was initiated.
  • It was designed for interactive televisions initially.
  • It was originally named Oak, after an oak tree outside Gosling’s office.
  • Later it was named Green before it was finally named Java, inspired a coffee in Indonesia.
  • In 1996, Sun Microsystems released Java 1.0, it’s the first-ever version.
  • In 1998, version 2 of Java was released with multiple configurations for different platforms.
  • In 2006, Sun renamed the J2 versions as Java EE, Java ME, and Java SE.
  • In Nov 2006, Sun released JVM (Java Virtual Machine)

Features of Java

  • Simple: It has a simple syntax and is easy to learn.
  • Object-Oriented: It follows OOPs concepts such as inheritance, abstraction, polymorphism, encapsulation.
  • Robust: Java offers Memory Management and mishandled Exceptions by automatic Garbage Collector and Exception Handling.
  • Platform Independent: It follows its WORA functionality by running its applications on any platform with JRE's help (Java Runtime Environment)
  • Secure, Java's stable features enable us to develop a virus-free, temper free system.
  • Multithreading: Java multithreading designs a program to do several tasks simultaneously. Thus, it utilizes the same memory and other resources to execute multiple threads at the same time.
  • Architectural Neutral: The compiler generates bytecodes, which is independent of computer architecture.
  • High Performance: Java enables high performance with the use of a just-in-time compiler.
  • Distributed: Programs can be designed to run on computer networks.

Similarities Between C # and Java

  • Object-Oriented: Both languages are object-oriented and hence support concepts like encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance, and more.
  • Dependence from C and C++: C and C++ are a superset to both Java and C#.
  • Intermediate Language Code Generation: Java compiler and C# compilers both generate an intermediate language code after compilation. C# compiler generates Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), whereas Java compiler generates Java bytecode.
  • Advance Features: Both languages include advanced features like garbage collection.
  • Syntax: Both languages are syntactically similar.
  • Multiple Inheritance: Both languages support multiple class inheritance.

Key Differences Between C# and Java

  • Runtime Environment: Java runs on JRE(Java Runtime Environment), whereas C# runs on CLR(Common Language Runtime).
  • Programming Paradigm: Java is a strictly object-oriented language wheres C# is object-oriented as well as functional, strongly typed, and component-oriented.
  • Operator Overloading: Java doesn't support operator overloading, whereas C# supports operator overloading for multiple operators.
  • Pointers: Java does not support pointers, whereas C# supports pointers only in unsafe mode.
  • Arrays: Java arrays are a specialization of Object, while C# arrays are a specialization of System.

Head to Head Comparison between C# vs Java

Parameters C# Java
Programming Paradigm C# is object-oriented, component-oriented, strong typing, functional. Java is object-oriented.
Installation .NET provides a huge library of codes used by C#. Requires JDK to run Java.
Application Web and game development. Complex web-based applications.
Scope Server-side language with a good programming foundation. Server-side interaction.
Tools Visual Studio, Mono Develop. Eclipse, NetBeans, Intelli J IDEA.
Public Classes Supports multiple public classes in source code. Java source code can have only one public class.
Checked Exceptions Does not support checked exceptions. Supports checked and unchecked exceptions.
Platform Dependency C# is cross-platform and supports both Windows and Unix based systems. Java is platform-independent but needs JVM for its execution.
Conditional Compilation Supports conditional compilation. Does not support conditional compilation.
Go to statement Supports go to statement. Does not support go to statement.
Structure and Union Supports structures and unions. Does not support structures and unions.
Floating Point The result of floating-point numbers may not be guaranteed to be the same across all platforms as C# does not support strictfp keyword. The strictfp keyword is supported by Java and hence the result is same across all platforms.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Java vs C#

Advantages of C#

  • C# provides lambda and generics support.
  • Language-Integrated Query (LINQ).
  • The language has secure extension methods.
  • Properties with getting/set methods.
  • Memory management.
  • Best in class cross-platform support.
  • Backward compatibility.

Disadvantages of C#

  • Poor GUI.
  • The application must be windows based as C# is an internal part of the .NET framework.
  • Software is proprietary, so it requires an upfront purchase.
  • C# mostly depends on the .Net framework, and so is less flexible.
  • C# executes slowly, and the program needs to be compiled each time when any changes are made.

Advantages of Java

  • It provides detailed documentation.
  • The large pool of skilled developers available.
  • Java allows developing standard programs and reusable code.
  • It offers a multi-threaded environment.
  • Excellent and high performance.
  • A huge array of 3rd party libraries.
  • Easy to navigate libraries.

Disadvantages of Java

  • JIT compiler makes the program low.
  • The hardware of maintaining Java programs is high, as Java demands high memory and processing requirements.
  • The language does not provide any support for low-level programming constructs like pointers.
  • The user has no control over garbage collection as Java does not provide functions like delete(), free().


That wraps up C# vs. Java, beginning with the overview of the languages, their history of being developed to the journey of being recognized as international standards of programming languages, and their similarities and differences. I hope you have studied and weighed the languages well, along with their pros and cons. What you choose for your project depends on factors like application requirement, usage, platform, and maintenance. With the right tools and a passionate developer to build something innovative, both languages can bring the best results. Which language do you prefer amongst the two? And Why? Let us know in the comments below.

If you know further differences between the two languages, do mention them in the comments.

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Simran Kaur Arora

Simran Kaur Arora

Simran works at Hackr as a technical writer. The graduate in MS Computer Science from the well known CS hub, aka Silicon Valley, is also an editor of the website. She enjoys writing about any tech topic, including programming, algorithms, cloud, data science, and AI. Traveling, sketching, and gardening are the hobbies that interest her. View all posts by the Author

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Jeevan Bordoloi
Jeevan Bordoloi

The author's knowledge on both the languages is very poor it seems. Please don't read this article for learning purposes.


The information given are all either wrong or old and outdated. Please update this article with more useful and correct information.

Everton C.
Everton C.

Your info on C# is not true, look up .net Core


"C#, on the other hand, is used for game, mobile, and web application development specifically for Microsoft platforms."

Man, are you in 2010? Take a look at .NET Core and it's features. In your post you are making comparisons between language and platform. You should not mix languages with platforms. C# and Java are languages! Don't compare the Java platform with the C# language! They are not comparable! Make distinction between Java platform and .NET/.NET Core platforms and respectively the languages used to build apps on these platforms! A lot of misleading information in your post!


"Compared to Java, C# resources are very limited. The C# libraries work only within the Microsoft ecosystem. On the other hand, the Java library and resource ecosystem are humongous in addition to being well-documented."

This article could be true in 2000 - 2015/.

C# (CLR) now runs not only on Windows, but on Linux, MacOS as well. And you can also develop for Android and iOS.
And there is a tons of information about C#.
Check the information before writing such misleading articles.


Java does have support for enumerations:


you say that java doesn't have delegate, but java have method reference for example:

interface Consumer {
void func(T t);

Consumer a = System.out::println();