Oracle: Java subscribers can renew under old terms

Existing Oracle Java SE licensees may continue with their per-processor or per-user plans, and do not have to move to the new per-employee subscription, Oracle says.

Oracle headquarters
Magdalena Petrova

Current Oracle Java SE licensees are not required to move to the company’s controversial new Java subscription plan, which charges based on the number of employees rather than the number of actual Java users. Their current Java SE licenses and related support offerings will continue as usual.

While the new per-employee licensing, called the Java SE Universal Subscription, is offered to brand new customers, Oracle still has customers running the previous Java SE licenses, which are based on the number of users or processors, Georges Saab, Oracle senior vice president of development, said in an interview last week.

“For existing customers, it’s up to them to choose,” Saab said. Customers can renew under the same terms and that always has been the case, he noted. The Java SE Universal Subscription replaced the legacy Java SE Subscription and Java SE Desktop Subscription plans as of January 23, 2023. “Customers of the legacy Java SE Subscription products continue to receive all the original benefits and may renew under their existing terms and metrics,” Oracle’s FAQ states.

After Oracle introduced the Universal plan, concerns were raised about a potential for significantly higher licensing costs. Defending the plan, Saab said it arose when some customers wanted a simpler way to determine licensing costs than counting the number of processors or named users. “They wanted something that was easier for them to count,” Saab said.

While some Oracle customers have switched to the new employee-based metric, Oracle competitors claim to be benefiting from Oracle’s new licensing. The Eclipse Foundation, for example, said that downloads of its Temurin Java have surged. Oracle has offered subscriptions to the company’s Java distribution, featuring support and updates, for more than four years and has more than 10,000 customers.

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