Bruce Eckel says that the Java team is clearly not ignoring the threat of C# as Microsoft ignored Linux and open source for so long. Joshua Bloch, a Senior Architect at Sun Microsystems, told him in an interview that
…along with the new features already on the list for “Tiger” (JDK 1.5), including true enumerations, autoboxing, and generics (templates), they are adding attributes, something (along with autoboxing) taken directly from C#, because it’s a good idea.
I think there is something for the fellow programmers to feel good about it! BTW, Josh also said that JDK1.5 would probably be the last big change to Java after JDK1.2 which saw the arrival of Swing and new Collections API.