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Will Oracle's lawsuit Against Google Put a Chill on Java Adoption?

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Joe McKendrick: Will Oracle's lawsuit against Google regarding Java put a chill on Java adoption and increase deployments of other environments such as .NET?

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  • My take: While the Java platform is widely adopted across many enterprises, it has been buffeted in recent years by many competing and lighter-weight frameworks. So any chill on Java adoption in the enterprise (both EE and SE) is the result of this competition that already has been underway.

    Java Mobile Edition is still a potential area of growth, however, and Google's Android would have watered down the potential in this fast-growing sector of the market.

  • Definitely agree with Joe; the horses are out of the barn with regard to challenges to Java SE or ME.

    There's another side to this, which is the potential impact of the case. This is not the moused that roared (SCO vs IBM), in that the complainant is not betting the company on the case. So the threat is real. But Oracle is targeting Google, not the Java community at large. Larry Ellison & Steve Jobs go way back.

    Yes, Oracle wants to monetize Java, but if you're using Java under the proper licenses and not modifying it, you should be fine.

  • When Oracle acquired Sun, I thought it was a wrong decision (read my post: Vendors Survival:The Sun is red - Oracle to buy Sun First Take http://avirosenthal.blogspot.com/2009/04/vendors-survival-sun-is-red-oracle-to.html).
    It seems that Oracle's managers reached a similar conclusion and are trying to minimize the amount of money they lose. The awsuit against Google is one of the ways to achieve it. However, this lawsuit supports the concerns about Java after Oracle acquired Sun.
    The delicate balance of the Java community with two strong players (IBM and BEA), Sun as the owner of Java and leader of the Java Community Process and other strong players (Oracle, SAP, RedHat/Jboss etc.) no longer exists. Oracle swallowed BEA and Sun and is now the owner of Java. Java will not disappear: It is still popular language and environment, especially for Software products developers, because of its platform independence. However, the major Java players will probably ask the question: Against which competitor Oracle's next lawsuit will be? IBM? SAP? or even RedHat due to Linux competition.
    For the Long Term they will look for a strategy less dependent on Java and Oracle. It is easy for SAP because they are platform agnostic. SAP can easily develop SOA ERP Services in other programming languages e.g. c#, as part of its applications products portfolio. It is more difficult for IBM and RedHat whose strategy is based on Java. As far as Google is concerned, it may also look for Long Term alternative for Java. The alternative may be Java like, same as C# and more suitable for Cloud Computing.

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    Java has become a platform now out of a language. And hence, not only Google, any one who tries to bring in alternative platform, will become threat to Oracle and there is a potential that Oracle may keep suing these entities for the same purpose (monetization):)

  • I recognize I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I wanted to chime in.

    I agree with @Tony that if you play within the rule, which is most people, you'll be fine and there's no reason to fear Oracle in that sense. But that's not what Google did, they made major alterations to the code AND did it with developers that used to work at Sun and created the Java language -- virtually negating any possibility of "clean room" development.

    I think the better question is whether this "will put a chill on Android development"? Would you continue to invest resources in an ecosystem that quite possibly could get shut down or altered in some dramatic fashion? I mean if Oracle wins, they may not box up Android, but they may make it impossible for it to be free anymore, and further may cause Google to change the business terms on what developers can earn from apps.

  • To me, Java is intimately correlated with the habit to turn the inactive Web-Server into an active Application Server. It can be shown that this is not the future. From a bird-eye's view on technological progress, turbulences concerning Java indicate the beginning of said habit's outdating.

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