Java is broadly used on a wide range of systems from devices (eg smartcards and Blu-ray players) to data centres. Despite the "write once, run anywhere" mantra, there have been significant differences in Java for mobile devices (Java ME) and for other environments.
But that is set to change. As foreshadowed last September at the Java One conference, Java 8 represents a major step to unifying Java ME with Java Standard Edition (Java SE).
What's more, Oracle has released the first parts of Java 8 on the schedule it promised last year.
The release version of Java ME 8 will be available shortly.
Java 8 also brings performance improvements. "Oracle JDK 8 has already achieved world record performance for 4 socket systems on NEC Intel-based servers and for 2 socket systems on Oracle SPARC T5 servers," Oracle officials stated.
"Java is the global standard for developing and delivering applications everywhere - from small devices to the Cloud. The convergence of Java SE 8 and Java ME 8 is intended to provide a consistent development environment that improves developer productivity and application performance, along with the ability to 'right-size' the platform for deployment across an even wider range of use cases," said Oracle's Java Platform vice president of development Nandini Ramani.
"The Java 8 launch will showcase the innovative features of Java SE 8 and Java ME 8 and demonstrate how the latest Java platform releases can revolutionise application development, harmonise enterprise IT and empower the Internet of Things."