Effective March 22, 2022, Oracle Java 18 is available and is the second Java version licensed through an Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions License (NFTC), essentially free of charge.
Oracle Java 18 (Oracle JDK 18) delivers thousands of performance, stability, and security improvements, including nine enhancements to the platform that will further improve developer productivity.
Even though new Java Development Kit (JDK) versions appear every six months, in March and September, they are only supported until the next JDK arrives. With JDK 21 Long-Term Support (LTS) release due in September 2023, that means JDK 17 (LTS) users will see their NFTC license revert to a chargeable Oracle Technology Network (OTN) license in September 2024 – one year after the release of the next LTS. For non-LTS releases like JDK 18, the license reversion will occur just six months after the release of a successor LTS version.
Essentially, there are two scenarios:
Scenario 1: You want to always have the most modern JDK version for your new project based on Java. In this case, you can install Oracle JDK 17, receive free patches (e.g. JDK 18) for three years, and then migrate to the next LTS version. An issue could be that the new LTS version contains new features, whereas some features get changed or removed. Hence, developers will spend time changing the code for compatibility, but you use the latest version.
Scenario 2: You want to stay on Oracle JDK 17 (LTS) for your project in order to avoid changing the code. You install Oracle JDK 17 receive free updates until Java 21 (LTS) comes out and then buy the OTN subscription to get extended updates for JDK 17.
For the announcement of Oracle Java 18, please visit: https://www.oracle.com/news/announcement/oracle-releases-java-18-2022-03-22/.
For a FAQ on Oracle Java SE Licensing, please visit: https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/javase/jdk-faqs.html.
For the company profile of Oracle, please visit: https://www.schneider.im/software/oracle/.
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