Keep in mind that Java peaked around 1998, right when everybody was doing the last-minute scramble to finally deal with all the Y2K bugs in their legacy code. An awful lot of that legacy code got rewritten in the hot language of the day, which was Java.
And that's how a thing that runs in your browser (and might grow to the desktop someday) turned into a Fortune 500 back-end mainframe data shoveler. Of course Cobol Jr. it's all about the enterprise: Browser applets were replaced by flash a decade ago (and Flash is already on its way out).
I doubt we'd even _remember_ Java if it wasn't for Y2K, any more than RealAudio or Visual Basic.