A new OpenJDK-based offering will now be free and open source with contributions given back to the community as a result of news this week.
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Microsoft Open Technologies will work with Java runtime scalability company Azul Systems to partner on a Windows distribution build of the community-driven open source Java implementation, known as OpenJDK, for Windows Server on the Windows Azure platform.
With this move Microsoft is essentially putting forward efforts to expand the number (and types) of workloads that are capable of running on its Windows Azure cloud platform.
Microsoft says that this relationship is "complementary" to the association it forged in June of this year with Oracle to bring Java, Oracle Database, and Oracle WebLogic Server onto Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure.
As part of this partnership, Azul Systems will build, certify, and distribute a compliant OpenJDK-based distribution meeting the Java SE specification for use with Windows Server environments on Azure.
Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO, said, "This initiative is all about bringing Java to the masses in the cloud. We will be providing a fully open and unconstrained Java environment — with open choice of third-party stacks — for developers and essential applications deployed on Windows Azure."
Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech, said "Microsoft Open Technologies and our Azul Systems partner are motivated by a common goal to make the world of mixed IT environments work better together for customers. This partnership will enable developers and IT professionals to ensure their mission-critical apps deploy and run smoothly on Windows Azure, using the open source Java environment they prefer. With Azul Systems rich Java heritage and strong customer track record, partnering was a natural decision."
The new OpenJDK-based offering will be freely distributed and licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) with the Classpath Exception.
An arguably over-positive June 14 2013, Forrester Research report, titled: "The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Public Cloud Platforms, Q2 2013," states "Microsoft's strategy for Windows Azure is very strong for two reasons…creating a single platform spanning many clouds is achievable, valuable, and a natural act for Microsoft… Microsoft's openness to other platforms, languages, databases, development environments, and tools is genuine and virtually assures Windows Azure's relevance as technology evolves."