Microsoft Open Technologies (MOT) and Azul Systems are joining forces to develop an open source implementation of Java for use on Windows Server on the Windows Azure cloud platform.
California-based Azul Systems, which has been building Java Virtual Machines (JVM) since 2002, will take the lead on developing the open source Java Development Kit (OpenJDK) before distributing it under the GNU GPLv2 free software licence.
Microsoft will provide Java as a hosted service on the Windows Azure cloud as an alternative to Oracle's own Java offering on the platform, which has been the leading force in the field.
MOT, the software giant's department that focuses on bridging Microsoft technologies with those of other companies, said the partnership will serve the growing number of Java applications used by businesses of all sizes.
Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO, said the initiative would provide a fully open Java environment with a choice of third party stacks for developers and applications deployed on Windows Azure.
Jean Paoli, president of MOT, added that the partnership will allow developers and IT professionals to make sure that mission critical apps can deploy and run smoothly on Windows Azure in an open source Java environment.
Azul said the new offering will be available to developers later this year.