Oracle has announced a major shift in the pricing structure for various offerings of Java. Currently, there are many offerings for the core Java language in terms of Java binaries, Java for desktops, commercial offering, among others. Java binaries are offered free for developers under the General Public License 2 (GPL 2). Java SE is offered, at an entry-level support, for $2.50/desktop for a month, or $25/CPU for a month.
Under the free offering for developers, Oracle will provide OpenJDK builds (the backend that keeps Java running on any system) under the GPL + CPE license. To make the offering more flexible, Oracle is working on Oracle JDK which would support Java SE 11 (the LTS release) set to launch in September 2018. With Oracle JDK, Oracle is trying to make the offering of Java binaries simpler for the developers as it would be royalty-free for open-source development, testing, etc.
For the commercial license, Oracle will be offering the Java SE Subscriptions combined with the technical support and access to all the updates that will follow the Java SE release cycle. Apart from the commercial offering, Oracle also has varied pricing for offerings through Oracle Academy.
With the new Java SE Subscription, comes with a feature called Java Advanced Management Console. This feature will enable the license holders to identify, manage, and tune Java SE use in systems used across the enterprise. It also includes Oracle Premier Support, to enable support for Java across current and previous versions.
Oracle, in their press release, mentioned the update in the subscription model is inspired by how Linux provides support for updates in the platform. It mentions “the subscription model for updates and support has been long established in the Linux ecosystem”. By this new subscription model, Oracle ensures that anyone requiring the additional level of support for Oracle products can receive it with flexible pricing and still keep a balance between its open source and commercial offerings.
For all the details on these subscriptions, you can visit the Java SE subscription FAQs.