Microsoft Build of OpenJDK binaries of Java 11 is available for download on Windows, Linux, and MacOS, with Microsoft publishing an early access binary for Java 16, which is the latest version of standard Java, for Windows on Arm. With Builds for Java 11 based on OpenJDK source code, and follows the same build scripts employed in the Eclipse Adoptium project, formerly AdoptOpenJDK.
Azure cloud users can also try the build via Azure Cloud Shell, albeit Microsoft’s binaries have passed the Java Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) for Java 11.
What you need to know about Microsoft Build of OpenJDK
Microsoft Build of OpenJDK is to serve as a simple drop-in replacement for other OpenJDK distribution in the Java ecosystem. And the company has pledged to support Java 11 until at least 2024.
Also, Microsoft will offer support for Java 8 binaries from Eclipse Adoptium on Azure-managed services, with Java 8 offered as a target runtime option. While OpenJDK binaries for Java 17 will be due for release by the end of the year. Microsoft is a huge contributor to OpenJDK, with more than 50 patches for OpenJDK, covering areas such as garbage collection fixes, MacOS packaging, build and infrastructure.
Microsoft Build of OpenJDK binaries may come with backported fixes and enhancements deemed important to users. Though some of the fixes may not have been formally backported upstream and signposted in OpenJDK release notes.
Open competition with Oracle in the Java distribution space
The move has been seen by analysts as a serious competition for Oracle in the Java space, as Java is one of the most popular programming languages today, used for almost everything from enterprise applications to robots.
Microsoft is increasingly experiencing growth in its customer use of Java across the company’s cloud services and development tools, haven deployed more than 500,000 JVMs internally, excluding Azure services and customer workloads. Indeed, Microsoft Build of OpenJDK would set up the company to compete with Oracle in the Java space.