Did I miss something? Why are you calling him a shill?
Regardless of whether he proves to be a shill or not, I think Daniel Hoffmann is 100% correct with this post. Every one of his points are spot on. Large IT Orgs are dinosaurs with a lot of inertia and it takes a lot to get them to start moving. Him blaming Microsoft seems a bit tongue-in-cheek to me as I don't think MS wants people to be using XP/IE8 anymore either.
There are many, many high end things out there that require Java Applets to manage, the highest end one, that I deal with daily, I can think of is HP Blade Chassis. We have racks of these things (c7000's) and the Management GUI is a Java Browser Applet. Yes, they have a CLI as well, but the CLI seems to only cover about 90-95% of the features. Plus, when you're dealing with something as complex as a blade chassis (switches/NICS/servers/arrays) having things presented logically in a GUI can help understanding and comprehension of what you are dealing with.
GUI's done with even a little thought and foresight can help prevent traumatic brain injuries by reducing the need to repeatedly smash your head into your desk.