Red Hat is taking over maintenance responsibilities for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 from Oracle. Red Hat will now oversee bug fixes and security patches for the two older releases, which serve as the basis for two long-term support releases of Java.
Red Hat’s updates will feed into releases of Java from Oracle, Red Hat, and other providers. Oracle released JDK (Java Development Kit) 8, based on OpenJDK 8, in March 2014 while JDK 11, based on OpenJDK 11, arrived in September 2018. Previously, Red Hat led the OpenJDK 6 and OpenJDK 7 projects. Red Hat is not taking over OpenJDK 9 or OpenJDK 10, which were short-term releases with a six-month support window.
Users should not expect any radical additions to OpenJDK 8 or OpenJDK 11, as new or experimental features only go into the latest version of standard Java. The current version of standard Java, JDK 12, was released last month. The next version, which will be based on OpenJDK 13, is expected to be completed in September, with Oracle set to release JDK 13.
Red Hat in December announced commercial support for OpenJDK on Windows. The company’s Java plans also include launching OpenJDK in a Microsoft installer in coming weeks and distributing IcedTea-Web, a free software implementation of the Java Web Start tool for running Java applications from the web. IcedTea Web will be part of the Windows OpenJDK distribution.