While looking to download the Java5 JDK from Sun, I ran across this on the home page of java.com:
What is Java Software?Applets!? After almost a decade of Java's success on the server through J2EE and lightweight containers, the marketing idiots at Sun choose to explain what Java is by citing applets?!? Folks, if ever there was a single-sentence hint as to how Sun doesn't quite "get it", this is it.
Java software allows you to run applications called "applets" that are written in the Java programming language. These applets allow you to play online games, chat with people around the world, calculate your mortgage interest, and view images in 3D. Corporations also use applets for intranet applications and e-business solutions.