Microsoft and open source are not three words you often hear together, but its Microsoft Open Technologies division has just announced a partnership with Azul Systems that will see the pair partner on a Windows distribution build of the open source Java implementation for Windows Server on the Windows Azure platform.
In fact Microsoft is less averse to open source than you might perhaps have thought. Its Open Technologies division says it is, "dedicated to advancing the company’s investment in openness including interoperability, open standards and open source".
Azul Systems specialises in Java runtimes for the enterprise that has licenses to the OpenJDK Community Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK).
Under the partnership the pair will build, certify and distribute a compliant OpenJDK-based distribution meeting the Java SE specification for use with Windows Server environments on Azure. The new OpenJDK-based offering will be freely distributed and licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) with the Classpath Exception.
Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech explained, "Microsoft Open Technologies and our Azul Systems partner are motivated by a common goal to make the world of mixed IT environments work better together for customers. This partnership will enable developers and IT professionals to ensure their mission-critical apps deploy and run smoothly on Windows Azure, using the open source Java environment they prefer. With Azul Systems rich Java heritage and strong customer track record, partnering was a natural decision."
Through the partnership the firms said the global community of Java developers gain access to open source Java on the Windows Azure cloud. It will also serve the growing number of Java applications that both small and medium businesses and global enterprises depend on to run their businesses.
Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO, said, "This initiative is all about bringing Java to the masses in the cloud. We will be providing a fully open and unconstrained Java environment — with open choice of third-party stacks — for developers and essential applications deployed on Windows Azure."
The firms also noted that deploying Java applications on Windows Azure will be further simplified through the existing open source MS Open Tech Windows Azure for Eclipse Plugin with Java.
The new Azul Systems offering will be available later this year.