Microsoft announces it’s ready to contribute to OpenJDK
The collaboration between Microsoft and Oracle has now been formalized, and Microsoft’s Bruno Borges has posted a message in the OpenJDK mailing list about what happens next and how Microsoft will start to integrate its team into the OpenJDK community. Let’s take a closer look.
In a message to the OpenJDK community, Bruno Borges announced that Microsoft has now formally signed the Oracle Contributor Agreement and has been welcomed to the Java community. He went on to reaffirm Microsoft’s commitment to Java and that the team is looking forward to giving something back to the Java community. However, the team will not just barge in with a heavy hand, but will start with smaller bug fixes and the like so they can learn how to be “good citizens within OpenJDK.”
Borges, himself a former Oracle developer, is Principal Product Manager for Java at Microsoft. He presents Martijn Verburg as the Java engineering team lead who will be working together along with other partners in the Java ecosystem. Verburg is also CEO of jClarity, a leading AdoptOpenJDK contributor acquired by Microsoft in August this year, so presumably he will stay true to form and continue to contribute to the Java world, only now with Microsoft at his back.
Here is the letter, which you can also find in the OpenJDK mailing list:
Hi OpenJDK Community,
In the past week Microsoft formally signed the Oracle Contributor Agreement, in which Oracle Inc. promptly acknowledged and welcomed us to the project. On behalf of the Microsoft Java Engineering Team, I’d like to say that we are thrilled to officially join the OpenJDK project and be ready to work with you.
As many of you may know, Microsoft and its subsidiaries are heavily dependent on Java in many aspects, and also offers Java runtimes in its Microsoft Azure cloud to its customers. Microsoft recognizes the immense value that Oracle’s successful and effective stewardship of the OpenJDK project has bought Java and the wider software ecosystem and we look forward to playing our part in contributing back!
The team will initially be working on smaller bug fixes and backports so that we can learn how to be good citizens within OpenJDK. For example, we already understand that discussing changes first before posting patches is preferred and I’m sure there’s more for us to learn as well.
The Java engineering team led by Martijn Verburg  is already engaged with other Microsoft groups and its subsidiaries who are using Java, as well as its partners in the Java ecosystem such as Azul Systems, Oracle, Pivotal, Red Hat, Intel, SAP and others, and the overall team will be joining the many OpenJDK mailing lists to start conversations and participating.
We look forward to participating in the future of Java.
Microsoft is now a Java shop
Microsoft’s acquisition of jClarity was just the latest in their efforts to gain a foothold in the Java community. There are many Java developers and Java champions who now practice their trade under Microsoft’s banner. And it’s not just Java that Microsoft has been working on; open source technologies like GitHub belong to them as well and herald a new age where they offer solutions for all developers.
At JAX London a few weeks ago, Program Chair Sebastian Meyen opened the conference by giving a speech in which he said “Microsoft is now a Java shop”. He sees this as a great development, as “it’s always good when industry giants stand behind Java.”
We’re very eager to see what the future brings for Java.