IBM Extends Java License with Sun

IBM extends its Java license through 2016 and agrees to support its middleware on Sun's Solaris OS.

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SAN FRANCISCO—IBMs decision to expand its Java license and to support its middleware on the Solaris operating system is a coup for Sun Microsystems Inc., Sun said at JavaOne here Monday.

"Weve had a little bit of a chill in our relationship with IBM, and IBM has been there from the start," said Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of Sun, regarding his companys history with IBM over Java. "And were working to better our relationship with people weve had issues with. I want to give all the credit to Steve Mills [senior vice president and group executive heading IBMs Software Group]."

IBM and Sun are extending their Java technology agreement to license and use Java technologies from Sun through 2016. In addition, IBM plans to support its middleware on the Solaris 10 operating system on SPARC x86 and x64 systems, the companies said.

/zimages/1/28571.gifAs Java enters its second decade, Sun is facing a future that includes less control over what happens with the technology. Click here to read Sean Gallaghers column.

In a video, IBMs Mills said, "Java has been a very important technology for IBM. I was around 10 years ago when we were deciding whether IBM would become a licensee. And now weve extended our licensing around Java for the next 10 years. Its an important industry standard that has brought about a lot of change in the IT industry."

Robert LeBlanc, general manager of IBMs WebSphere product line, was on hand at the conference to praise the deal.

"Weve been there since the beginning with you," LeBlanc said. Extending the license agreement "is very important to our customers, and it shows the whole community how important Java is, and we are in this for the long haul."

Meanwhile, Sun announced that it is open-sourcing its Java Enterprise Edition implementation. Yet, the company has made no plans regarding an open-source implementation of its Java Standard Edition.

In an interview with eWEEK, Schwartz said to "stay tuned" regarding open-sourcing the Java SE.

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