I just posted again to Apache Asserts on Computerworld UK: Open Languages are Not Required.
And please note that I'm speaking primarily to enterprise (internal) software developers, who are the vast majority of developers on the planet. They shouldn't really have to worry about the language that they use for their development. Having an open language is critical for us FLOSS developers, but that is an entirely separate discussion. (hat tip to webmink, to clarify my point here)
Note: the publish date is wrong (says last month); dunno what's up with that.
Update: corrected link after the publish date was fixed.