Oracle and the Java Opportunity

I guess there’s a chance that we’ll know more tomorrow but regarding the future of Java under Oracle’s control – I’m still neutral to optimistic and sticking to what I said 6 months ago :

DZone: With Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, are you concerned at all about some of the potential changes that will come as a result, to the governance and licensing options to the OpenJDK?

Rich: I’m really not that concerned. There are all sorts of scenarios that people are suggesting. I still believe Oracle will do the right thing. They have far too much to lose, by either accidently or purposely sabotaging OpenJDK. They have a very healthy business based around Java. Creating unrest, creating any kind of distrust or fragmentation of the Java community really isn’t going to help Oracle. So I think they’ll do the right thing. I also think they probably have the ability to invest in Java more than Sun had over the last five years at least. Sun kind of had some fairly pressing financial issues. I think that, above all else, probably hindered some of the progress of Java over the last five years.

So overall, I’m coming in neutral to slightly optimistic. If things do go awry, I’m sure Red Hat the rest of the Java community will step up and help Oracle to get back on track. So, yeah, I’m pretty comfortable with it.

My only real concerns is that Oracle understands products and monetization much better than they understand community and collaboration so I think a misstep or two are more likely to occur than Oracle purposefully sabotaging Java. Harming Java will devalue their investment and their chances of getting a decent return.

On the positive side – I think there’s still huge growth potential for the Java platform – I see no reason why it can’t become the dominant standard for the enterprise – I personally think we’re at the start of the decline of Microsoft and Java is the only viable alternative to Microsoft’s enterprise foothold. Microsoft’s enterprise presence is not insignificant but neither is it guaranteed – it’s largely based on an historically well adopted OS and Microsoft’s missteps in that area are pretty well known by now .

Java needs some strong leadership, investment and a open, vibrant and growing community.

I raising my mug of tea to The Next Decade of Java !

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