Oracle To Develop Premium JVM

JVM To Split?

Jessica Thornsby

At QCon, Adam Messinger announces Oracle will release a premium version of the JVM, in addition to the free version.

During a session at QCon last week, Adam Messinger made the surprise announcement that Oracle would be releasing a premium version of the JVM, based on the OpenJDK project. This premium version will exist alongside the free version, also based on OpenJDK. Adam Messinger did not clarify how the premium JVM will differ from the free version, or reveal any pricing information. Oracle’s failure to stick a price tag on the premium JVM could be telling, considering Oracle’s recent revelation that they will be dropping Basic and Silver support for MySQL, leaving users with the option of paying either £1849 for Gold or £3099 for Platinum license. Premium JVM users could be facing a hefty price tag……

This news has caused some members of the community to question whether two versions of the JVM will be in the community’s best interest, as ultimately, Oracle’s strategy will be to move users from the free version, to the paid version. This could result in new features and performance optimisations being omitted from the free version, for inclusion in the premium version.

Stephen Colebourne has posted a list of questions currently buzzing around the internet: will the free version still support the same range of operating systems? What extra features will the premium version have? And, will the premium and gratis versions be released simultaneously? However, he points the reader to a press release issued by Oracle in September, which seems to indicate that the ‘premium’ JVM might refer to the continuation of the JRockit paid for elements. It is currently unclear whether this is the case.

In light of the news that Oracle will not allow Apache Harmony’s implementation of Java SE, and the fallout this has caused within the community, Stephen Colebourne encourages Oracle to allow JSR 924 to be implemented independently of the rest of Java SE, and without restrictions such as Field Of Use. Not only would this give Oracle’s public image a much-needed boost and remove concerns that Oracle could be out to abuse the premium version of the JVM; it would also encourage competition and new features within the realm of the JVM. In addition, allowing the JVM to be freely implemented without restriction, might pave the way for the JVM being “adopted as the heart of language programming in all browsers.”

“A JVM could be implemented directly on top of the CLR or LLVM, or integrated within. Or a JVM could even implemented in another language like Ruby or Javascript rather than C,” are just some of Stephen Colebourne’s suggestions for a freely implementable JVM. He envisions this strategy as expanding the JVM bytecode definition into new areas, and reconfirming the JVM as a core technology.

In related news, Oracle recently posted their comments regarding Hologic’s failure to get elected to the JCP, alongside expressing their “desire to continue to work with Apache” despite the disagreement over TCK licensing.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments