Oracle’s suit against Google has one clear winner: Microsoft. With Google’s Android tied up in litigation, and Oracle becoming the latest villain in the open source community, Microsoft has a chance to make inroads in the mobile market and elsewhere.
Oracle’s suit against Google over its Android mobile operating system signals a major reversal in the stewardship of Java under new management, and will likely be the first of many battles over the ubiquitous web programming language.
A Google spokesman said in a statement that the company is “disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit.”
The spokesman added that, “We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform.”
Java was created by Sun Microsystems in 1995, where it was conceived as a lingua franca for the web, and it quickly won broad acceptance among developers as a powerful platform for adding features that could not be handled by HTML. It was purchased by Oracle as part of its acquisition of Sun in January, a transition that may have planted the seeds of the coming fracas from the start.
No matter what happens with the suit, though, it hurts Google, and helps Microsoft at a time when Microsoft is particularly vulnerable in mobile. Android use has skyrocketed, jumping to 17.2% market share today compared to 1.8% a year ago. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile has become practically a footnote in mobile, dropping to 5% of the market.