Implications for programming:
the platform should simplify programming tasks - especially those where errors likely as in security, transactions, thread synchronization, memory management - and hide obscurities of the OS interface
programming does not have to be performed specifically for an OS but for a platform offering services and programming language that can access them
much programming will be done within a framework paradigm - where a system invokes application code and application code is supposed to provide prescribed behavior in prescribed entry points. This is very similar to writing a device driver.
Implications for client-server computing:
There is the middle tier where the logic of the server lives and it is separate from the OS and from the DB which it regards as some type of global resource. This middle tier has important functionality that has to be better designed than the OS and has now excellent implementations.
Implications for UNIX:
UNIX is an OS. OS is a system that arbitrates between a software program and hardware devices that realize its execution. This happens through a number of constructs such as virtual memory, file descriptors, threads, processes, files and their permissions, uid's, gid's, etc. They are well designed for operating computing hardware but not easy to program to. A platform such as Java/J2EE may in fact be the way in which much functionality will be delivered - making the underlying OS irrelevant and turning it into commodity.
Stated yet another way: In a computing system there are three well established operating components - filesystem, database, and OS (=processor(s)+memory). Filesystem is a hierarchical data store, database is a flexible programmable data store. The last one, the OS, has the most messy API and for that reason one looks for a "platform" to arbitrate programming. J2EE is one such platfrom which should be embraced by UNIX.