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Experts React to Oracle’s New Java Pricing

If you’re an Oracle Java JDK customer, you have almost certainly heard about the licensing change Oracle announced on January 23. At the most basic level, Oracle now charges per employee rather than by Java instance. You can get more details from Oracle’s announcement, price list, and FAQ. There are unanswered details about the pricing structure, people are expressing their opinions. 

What are consultants and journalists saying? Here’s a sample. 

For context, Oracle describes its new pricing this way: “Java SE Universal Subscription is a simple, low-cost monthly subscription that includes Java SE Licensing and Support for use on Desktops, Servers or Cloud deployments. The subscription provides access to tested and certified performance, stability, and security updates for Java SE, directly from Oracle. It also includes access to My Oracle Support (MOS) 24×7, support in 27 languages, Java SE 8 Desktop management, monitoring, and deployment features, among other benefits.” 

Oracle Java customers certainly have options. As Azul CEO Scott Sellers told ITPro Today, “Third-party Java runtimes based on OpenJDK, such as those provided by Azul, are already rapidly increasing in popularity prior to this change. We see this trend accelerating as customers become frustrated with the uncertainty around Oracle’s frequent pricing changes.” 

Reaction 1: Oracle customers will have to pay more 

Despite Oracle’s promise of a low-cost pricing model, experts expect the price of Oracle Java to go up in the vast majority of situations.

Wayne Federico, COO and Vice President of Technical Services at Miro Consulting

“I would say most of all of the situations I can think of, it’s going to be more expensive. And in a lot of cases it could be significantly more expensive.”
Read on Oracle Partners On Java Price Changes: ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

Ian Hill, Director of information & Cybersecurity at Upp

“Considering that Java is in principle open source, ever since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 it was always on the cards that they would find a way around the open source hurdle and fully commercialise Java and maximise its profit potential through what some might argue is a form of legalised ransomware. After all, to the pursuit of profit, customers are just a necessary inconvenience.”
Read on ‘Sheer greed’: Industry reacts to Oracle’s new Java pricing


Reaction 2: Oracle is pulling a bait-and-switch 

Oracle is trading in one customer problem for a new one. It will no longer count each customer’s Java instances, but it is replacing this process with a new more expensive, unfair pricing model. 

Craig Guarente, Founder and CEO, Palisade Compliance 

“Under the previous licensing model customers were in a constant battle with Oracle over Java implementations in VMWare environments.  How to count and measure was in question and it led to significant delays in Oracle’s Java deals. The new model replaces that problem with the new problem of having to license Java for people who never use it. Also, given our analysis of over a dozen active Java contracts, Palisade sees Oracle fees increasing anywhere from 2x to 10x!”
Read on LinkedIn: Oracle Java Licensing – Jan 2023 What’s new? What should you do? 

Nathan Biggs, CEO, House of Brick 

“Regardless of your Java users or server footprint, you now must count every employee, contractor, consultant, and agent to determine your Java subscription bill. You are potentially on the hook for a massive subscription fee increase that may have very little benefit to your operation.”
Read on House of Brick: Oracle 2023 Java Pricing Explodes: What Should I Do Now? 

Craig Guarente, Founder and CEO, Palisade Compliance 

“Oracle reps are no longer looking to find out how big a customer’s environment is, or whether that customer is using VMware. Now these same salespeople are simply stating how many times customers have downloaded Java from Oracle’s website and how many employees the customers have based on public information.”
Read on Palisade Compliance: Oracle Java Licensing Changes – January 2023 


Reaction 3: Oracle’s new pricing model is divorced from business value 

By tying cost to employee numbers, Oracle is changing from a logical pay-for-what-you-use approach to one that makes no sense. 

Kjetil Nordal, Global Oracle Sales & Alliance Manager, Crayon 

“If this stands as it seems, it is a significant escalation of the Java Licensing efforts. Under these rules, a company of 10,000 employees with a single (1) licensable Java installation would face a yearly fee of ~ $1 mio.”
Read on LinkedIn: Shocking escalation of the Java licensing saga! 

Fredrik Filipsson, Oracle Licensing Cloud Expert, Redress Compliance 

“This means that if you are an organization with 10,000 employees and you only have 1,000 users who needs Java. You cannot purchase the 1,000 users only, but you need to calculate the correct number using the definition. The end result [is] that [you] will need to purchase at least 10,000 licenses. 

“The Java license price was also increased, per user. It used to cost $ 1,5 per user per month. Now Java is priced at $8,25 per user. But you do not need to license processors. But it is 700%+ price increase. 

“Most organizations will have the choice of paying much more than what they did for Java in the past or simply uninstalling all Oracle Java in their data centre.”
Read on Redress Compliance: Oracle Java Licensing Changes and is Java still free? – 2023 


Reaction 4: Oracle is hurting large enterprises 

Do the math. The larger your organization, the more it will cost you to use Oracle Java SE – even if you don’t use a lot of Java.

Pam Fulmer, Partner, Tactical Law Group 

“Now companies licensing Java must count ’all of Your full-time, part-time, temporary employees,’ AND ’all of the full-time employees, part-time employees, and temporary employees of your agents, contractors, outsourcers, and consultants that support Your internal business operations.’ This means all of these people must be counted for licensing purposes even if they are not using Java software.  The result is potentially a massive price increase for those companies using Java SE. The change will especially negatively impact large companies with numerous employees, but it will also have a big effect on medium sized companies as well.” 
Read on Tactical Law Group: Oracle Changes Java SE Licensing Rules and Prices Explode 

Miro Consulting 

“Essentially, what Oracle wants to do (or has done) is license every employee in the organization for both workstations and server access (regardless of whether they access Oracle Java on those platforms or if they are development-only). 
“This might be good for some organizations and be more costly for others.  Miro is not recommending that this new method of licensing be adopted. We are attempting to learn more about this by asking numerous questions.”
Read more on Miro Consulting: Oracle Changes Java Pricing Model to Charge for All Company Employees 



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Read more: Oracle Java Pricing Change FAQ

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