Yesterday afternoon, Oracle and IBM sent out a press release touting their commitments to work together and collaborate on the OpenJDK project. "Specifically, the companies will collaborate in the OpenJDK community to develop the leading open source Java environment."
Why would IBM and Oracle feel the need to make this seemingly obvious announcement? For instance, the press release indicates that "Oracle and IBM will support the recently announced OpenJDK development roadmap, which accelerates the availability of Java SE across the open source community." In light of the fact that Oracle is the company that came up with the Java 7 roadmap, it would certainly be surprising if they did not support it.
Is it the fact that IBM has thrown their support behind the OpenJDK that makes this newsworthy? The press release doesn't indicate that IBM won't continue to build anything proprietary with regards to Java and the JDK. It simply states that when it comes to open source, the OpenJDK project is the one that Big Blue will be supporting.
More than anything, the idea here is simply to allay any fears the enterprise market has over the future of Java. Big Blue is behind Java. Oracle is behind Java. And with those two players showing a vote of confidence, the market can relax and stop thinking about jumping to another development platform. Perhaps it is not earth shattering news, but it is a message that the Java community does need to hear.