Microsoft has announced the release of its own compilations of OpenJDK for Linux, Windows and Mac, which may contain certain back-ported parts (backported) that the company has considered important to its customers and users.
OpenJDK is the basis for the commercial implementation of Java and is also released under the GPLv2 license, which opens the door to forking, modifying and redistributing it without restrictions. These conditions make OpenJDK a viable alternative for those who want to get rid of Oracle’s restrictions, and hence it has become a seam that some are trying to exploit.
Microsoft has explained in its blog for developers that “Please Announce Preview of Microsoft’s OpenJDK Build, a new no-cost long-term support (LTS) OpenJDK distribution that is open source and available for free. Includes Java 11 binaries based on OpenJDK 11.0.10 + 9 for macOS, Linux and Windows x64 server and desktop environments. We are also releasing a new Java 16 early access binary for Windows ARM based on the latest version of OpenJDK 16 + 36 ”.
The Redmond Giant recalls that “Java is one of the most important programming languages used today”, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that we are facing the most relevant and determining software technology of what we have been in the XXI Century, more seeing its presence in many areas and contexts, “From critical business applications to hobby robots”.
In fact, the importance of Java reaches even the company’s infrastructures: “Microsoft relies on Java technologies for a variety of its own internal systems, applications, and workloads to enable well-known public products and services, as well as a significant set of mission-critical systems that power the Azure infrastructure. We have been working to optimize our Java-based systems and secure our supply chain to benefit our customers and users. “
“Microsoft, excluding all Azure services and customer workloads, intermittently deploys more than 500,000 Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) spanning needs ranging from backend microservices to Big Data systems, message brokers, event streaming services, and game servers. Over 140,000 of these JVMs are already based on the Microsoft OpenJDK build ”.
From what we see, OpenJDK is not a “minor player” for Microsoft, but is a very important component within the internal infrastructures of the company. The Redmond giant’s OpenJDK implementation is based on that from Oracle, which today receives contributions from corporations such as Red Hat, Amazon, Intel, Tencent, SAP, IBM, Alibaba and Microsoft itself.
The company led by Satya Nadella has emphasized that their OpenJDK binaries may contain back-ported fixes and enhancements that they consider important to their customers and internal users. “It is possible that some of those changes have not yet been supported upstream and are clearly indicated in our release notes. This allows us to accelerate improvements and fixes much faster as we proceed to implement those changes in parallel. The updates will be free and available for all Java developers to implement anywhere “.
Those who want to try Microsoft’s OpenJDK can download it for free from the corresponding section on the company’s website and see all its details on the developer blog. At the licensing level we find that Microsoft has respected the GPLv2 of the original project.
We close by recalling the existence of the AdoptOpenJDK initiative, which received a great boost from the changes introduced by Oracle in the commercial version of Java and which has the support of many important companies, Microsoft being one of them.