Apple said it will be handing the reigns over to Oracle for Java, as it will be contributing its key components of Java Mac OS X to the OpenJDK project. The move accomplishes a couple of things: it allows Apple to focus on its own software without having to preload Java and it could also be seen as an end-around attack on the foundation of the iPhone rival Android.
In a press release, Apple said it will be contributing tools, technology, class libraries and more for Java SE 7 on Mac OS X to the OpenJDK.
“We’re delighted to be working with Oracle to insure that there continues to be a great version of Java on the Mac,” said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, in a prepared statement. “The best way for our users to always have the most up to date and secure version of Java will be to get it directly from Oracle.”
Apple has always loathed preloading things like Flash on its Mac computers because those technologies ran on different product cycles, which meant users would be on versions which may not be current or secure.
While not explicit, this move could also bolster the OpenJDK project, which could be bad for Google’s Android. As we mentioned earlier, Android uses Java code for its apps but it relies on the Harmony project.
The Harmony project is slowly losing ground to the OpenJDK project and this could eventually lead to Android not having all the latest features of Java. There’s still a lot of strategic shuffling going around and it could take a while before we see all these moves pan out.
Oracle is also suing Google over patents in Android, so you can be sure that it will be taking steps get Java in line.