Zulu Embedded Comes to Windows IoT

Java runtime maker Azul Systems is partnering with Microsoft to provide a version of its open source Zulu JDK for Java developers who are creating Internet of Things (IoT) applications on Windows 10.

Zulu Embedded, a version of the company's build of the OpenJDK aimed at devs in the M2M and IoT markets, is compliant with the Java 8 SE specification, and includes open source development tools, device I/O libraries, and a Java runtime. This release has been certified by Azul for use with Windows 10 IoT Core.

Windows 10 IoT Core is an edition of the Windows 10 operating system designed for low-cost, small-footprint embedded devices, such as those based on Raspberry Pi 2 and Minnowboard Max.

This isn't the first time Azul has teamed up with Microsoft. In fact, Azul created Zulu in partnership with the Microsoft Open Technologies group (MS Open Tech). The two companies joined forces in 2013 to develop a commercial version of the OpenJDK specification for Windows Server and Windows Azure. Support was added later for a number of Linux distros, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu Desktop and Server and CentOS Linux.

Azul unveiled Zulu Embedded for Windows IoT at the recent JavaOne conference. In a statement issued at the event, Steve Teixeira, director of Program Management for the Windows Internet of Things team at Microsoft, said, "Developers have many development and deployment choices for their IoT applications, and today Microsoft and Azul made it easy for those who prefer Java to build premier IoT devices running Windows."

Azul also announced the availability of pre-release builds of Zulu 9. The company is providing early access a year before the planned release of the Java 9 SE platform, which the company says Zulu 9 will fully support.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company bills itself as the only vendor focused exclusively on the Java runtime. It's one of only two companies currently providing cross-platform JVMs; Oracle is the other one. (IBM, Red Ha, and some niche providers offer JVMs specific to their other products.)

Azul's flagship product, Zing, is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based on Oracle's HotSpot JVM, a core component of Java SE. It's a "no-pause" JVM designed to eliminate GC pauses, a long-standing challenge for Java developers. This pauselessness, which Azul calls "generational pauseless garbage collection" (GPGC), enables Java app instances to scale dynamically and reliably. Azul has long targeted GC, which CEO and president Scott Sellers has called "the Achilles heel of Java."

Zulu Embedded for Windows 10 IoT is available now as a free download. More information is available on the Zulu Community Web site.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].