The Ultimate Winner in Java Case Might Be Microsoft

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-04-18 Print this article Print


5. Third-party vendors would be affected

Since Google doesn't actually build its own hardware, just about every third-party Android vendor is following the Oracle case closely. A Google victory means that they can go about their business without facing lawsuits or making big payouts to Oracle for the right to keep loading Android into their products. An Oracle win, however, could empower Oracle to demand damages from Android device makers. The stakes are high for third-party vendors.

6. It could dramatically change Android

One of the most interesting aspects of this case is that if Google loses, it would either need to license Java from Oracle or dramatically alter how its operating system works. Java is a key ingredient in the way that Android runs. Without Java Google would likely need to rebuild its mobile platform from the ground up.

7. Developers would be in trouble

Why might Google need to build Android from the ground up? Just about every single Android application relies upon Java APIs to run. So Google would have to replace that with something. And by replacing it, the company's developer partners would need to rebuild their applications to address the Java loss. It would have a huge impact on the Android ecosystem.

8. CEOs are revealing a lot

Google CEO Larry Page and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are both taking the stand to be questioned in this case. Already, those testimonies are revealing rather interesting information, including Ellison admitting that he had plans to take Android on before he sued the search company. Look for many more juicy details to spill out as testimony from the chief executives continues.

9. It could help Apple

Android's biggest competitor right now is Apple. Although Apple is not directly affected by the proceedings, it might be able to benefit in the event Google loses. Developers would have to rebuild applications€”a costly prospect€”and vendors could come under fire. If Google loses, the Android ecosystem could be thrown into downright fear, uncertainty and doubt. All the while, Apple's products would remain on store shelves and continue to gain market share.

10. Microsoft could be the biggest benefactor from an Oracle victory

Ultimately, however, it would be Microsoft that would benefit most from an Oracle victory. If the Android ecosystem becomes toxic to vendors, it's likely they'll rush to Windows Phone 7 to keep selling phones. Developers, displeased by the Java ruling, would follow suit. Microsoft, perhaps more than any other third party, wants to see Oracle win this case against Google.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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