Feeds

When is Java not Java?

When it's an Android

The Power of One Infographic

Google's cunning plan to bypass the Java license might not be cunning enough, depending on how Sun decides to play it and if they see Android as a significant threat to their Java revenues.

The Android platform can run applications developed for Java Micro Edition (J2ME) but to avoid the restrictions of Java licence Google's platform takes the Java Byte Code (the faux-machine language into which Java applications are compiled) and converts it to their own virtual machine language: Dalvik.

By this ruse they avoid Android-based devices having to have a Java Virtual Machine, and thus avoid paying Sun for a licence or being forced to open up modifications under the J2ME open source licence.

Google claims Dalvik is used for technical reasons, and the bypassing of the Java licence is neither here nor there.

Anyone around in the early days of Java will remember several attempts to create a "clean room" implementation of the language, with the same aim in mind. But creating something that can run Java code without infringing on any of Sun's IPR is technically very difficult, and with the scrapping of the extortionate licence fees originally demanded, clean-room Java disappeared.

It seems likely that Sun is in a position to see Google in court over their Dalvik plan, but whether they choose to do so is another matter. Taking on an open source project like Android would be bad publicity for a company keen to show its OS credentials, and if the platform isn't going anywhere then there seems little point in taking the risk.

But if Sun feels Android really is the future of mobile telephony then they will need to protect their revenue stream from J2ME, even if that means taking on Google and the OS community. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.