Microsoft’s Java builds are now generally available and the manufacturer backs this up with reference to millions of Minecraft players. Mircosoft describes its internally self-created Java versions of the free OpenJDK as generally available, as the software company announced at its in-house exhibition Build 2021. As previously announced, this is a free distribution of the OpenJDK that is freely available and ready for any purpose.
The company itself relies heavily on Java and uses 500,000 JVM instances internally for LinkedIn, the Azure cloud or Minecraft. Microsoft then takes the latter as an example of the functionality of its own Java version. All players with the Minecraft snapshot 21W19A use Java 16 based on Microsoft’s OpenJDK builds.
The version used for this, OpenJDK 16.0.1, is provided by Microsoft for x86 CPUs under Windows, MacOS and Linux. The same applies to the OpenJDK version 11.0.11. In addition, there is a preview of version 16 for 64-bit ARM CPUs under Linux and Windows on ARM. The Java builds are also available as Docker containers in the Docker hub.
As already announced, Microsoft offers long-term support for its builds of OpenJDK 11, which is to be maintained until at least 2024 and to be expanded with patches and possibly backports, even if these may not end up in the upstream code of the OpenJDK. Microsoft wants to point this out separately in the release notes. In addition, Microsoft is also launching a new portal in which the manufacturer wants to collect and provide its development documentation for all aspects of Java use centrally.
Microsoft only officially met all formal requirements in autumn in order to be able to contribute to the development of the OpenJDK itself. Microsoft is following the same approach as Eclipse Adoptium, formerly Adopt OpenJDK, which provides freely available updates for Java independently of Oracle. Amazon also already delivers its own Java distribution. The same applies to the Linux packages of the OpenJDK in the distributions, which are not available across platforms.