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Is There A Place For a Premium JVM?

During the weekend I read Stephen Colebourne's post thoughts on Oracle's planned premium JVM. The story began when Oracle's vice president of development, Adam Messinger mentioned that Oracle would be providing a premium JVM alongside the open source VM. During earlier announcements from Oracle, we knew that HotSpot and JRockit would be merged. This is still true for the open version, as well as the premium version. 

According to Stephen's research, it looks like this is just Oracle following on with their current JRockit strategy which charges users for VM extensions such as JRockit Real Time and JRockit Mission Control.

This Oracle press release from September 2010 indicates the underlying situation - that "premium" simply refers to a continuation of the JRockit paid for elements. I still hope that more detailed information can be provided.

Oracle is currently working to merge the Oracle Java HotSpot Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the Oracle JRockit JVM into a converged offering that leverages the best features of each of these market-leading implementations. Oracle plans to contribute the results of the combined Oracle Java HotSpot and Oracle JRockit JVMs to the OpenJDK project. The Oracle JDK and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) will continue to be available as free downloads, with no changes to the existing licensing models. Premium offerings such as JRockit Mission Control, JRockit Real Time, Java for Business and Enterprise Support will continue to be made available for an additional charge.

As owners of the technology, it's fair that Oracle should expect to provide a premium offering to their customers. Once this doesn't cause any fragmentation, once the APIs and features remain the same, this is fine. Users who pay more may get an optimized VM, perhaps with some extra management features. 

What do you think? Does the thought of a premium JVM make you nervous?

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