Apple Hands Over Java SE 7 for Mac OS X To Oracle

Apple is turning over its implementation of Java to Oracle. On Friday, Apple and Oracle announced the creation of the OpenJDK project for Mac OS X, and Apple said it will contribute “most of the key components, tools and technology required for a Java SE 7 implementation” on its computers.

The OpenJDK project is run by Oracle. The components turned over by Apple include a 32-bit and 64-bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack, and the basis for a new graphical client. The OpenJDK project is expected to make the Java technology for Apple’s machines available to open-source developers.

Developers ‘Can Rest Assured’

Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president of development at Oracle, said “the Java developer community can rest assured that the leading-edge Java environment will continue to be available on Mac OS X in the future.” He noted that, with the announcement last month that IBM will also join OpenJDK, “the project now has the backing of three of the biggest names in software.”

Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told news media that “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.”

Java SE 6 for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and the upcoming Lion will continue to be available from Apple. Java SE 7 and future versions will be available only from Oracle and the OpenJDK project.

Last month, Apple deprecated the use of Java for Mac OS X. “This means,” the company said at the time, “that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X.” It noted that the runtime shipping with Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 “will continue to be supported.”

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