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Microsoft has acquired London-based JClarity, a London-based venture that has become a key player behind a popular open-source implementation of the Java software development platform, AdoptOpenJDK.

A couple decades ago, news like this would have been almost unthinkable, given Microsoft’s long-since-settled legal feud with Sun Microsystems over Java, back when the Redmond company was battling open-source alternatives to Windows and (later) its .NET development platform and C# programming language.

But times have changed, and then some, and these days Microsoft is working with and contributing to a wide variety of open-source projects, particularly within the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. As noted by John Montgomery, a Microsoft corporate vice president, Microsoft was already a sponsor of AdoptOpenJDK, to help build binaries of OpenJDK for Windows, Linux and other platforms.

In the last few years, Microsoft’s usage of Java has grown and now includes multiple large-scale deployments, such as Azure HDInsight and Minecraft. Additionally, Microsoft customers like Adobe, Daimler and Société Générale have brought their Java production workloads to Azure. With more than half of compute workloads running on Linux, Azure has become a great platform for open source, and that certainly includes Java.

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