back to article Embrace, extend – and kill. Microsoft discontinues RoboVM

Microsoft is discontinuing RoboVM, the Java-to-Mobile compiler technology which it acquired with Xamarin a couple of months ago. Just six months ago, RoboVM was a small but growing business catering to developers wishing to use their Java skills – or port existing Java applications – to iOS and Android. Using an AOT (ahead of …

  1. Charlie van Becelaere

    Passive tense?

    "After looking at the complete landscape for mobile development with Java, the decision has been made to wind down development of RoboVM," he says, carefully using the passive tense.

    Surely it's either passive voice or past tense you meant here.

    1. Tim Anderson

      Re: Passive tense?

      Fixed - many thanks :-)


  2. Nathan 6

    Meh, Just Use Codenameone

    If you want to keep dong cross platform mobile dev using Java just use Codenameone. It was always more mature and a better solution than RoboVM IMO.

    1. shayneoneill

      Re: Meh, Just Use Codenameone

      "If you want to keep dong cross platform mobile dev using Java just use Codenameone. It was always more mature and a better solution than RoboVM IMO."

      wut. Codename one is a hot mess of a product. I mean I wish them the best and all, but it was never as feature complete or as well polished as RoboVM.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Microsoft was sued by Sun for its implementation of Java

    Which is why J++ became C#

    Oracle is a less sympathetic company than Sun. It was a sad day too, when Sun's SW portfolio became Oracle's.

    1. Mpeler

      Re: Microsoft was sued by Sun for its implementation of Java

      It was an even sadder day whn Sun's hardware portfolio became Oracle's...

  4. tekHedd

    So it begins

    I knew I should have ported to Java over the winter. Maybe this fall.

  5. tekHedd

    The "AOT"

    By using an "AOT" compiler, sometimes called a "compiler"...

    (Sorry for the double-post, waited exactly 9:45 before realizing this. Is it beer time yet?)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Embrace Extend and Extinguish ©

    'Paul Maritz also explained to Intel representatives that Microsoft’s response to the browser threat was to “embrace, extend, extinguish”; in other words, Microsoft planned to “embrace” existing Internet standards, “extend” them in incompatible ways, and thereby “extinguish” competitors.' ref

  7. Herby Silver badge

    Another example of Microsoft...

    We're Microsoft, and WE DON'T CARE. We're going to make your life miserable and costly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You say Microsoft doesn't care, so I think you failed to read this snippet: "In addition, Xamarin/Microsoft is offering full refunds to existing customers as well as free subscriptions to either Xamarin Test Cloud or HockeyApp.".

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge


    Why did Slurp buy Xamain? It seems like they spent money for no purpose at all.

  9. Wade Burchette Silver badge
  10. FF22

    Spot on

    "Embrace, extend – and kill."

    Except Microsoft never embraced and extended RoboVM.

    That said it would be weird if The Register didn't bash Microsoft for no reason, or for reasons it doesn't bash Google or any other company.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Spot on

      " if The Register didn't bash Microsoft for no reason..."

      The Internet's not big enough to list the reasons to bash Microsoft.

  11. John Savard Silver badge


    Is it possible to go back to the last open-source version of OpenVM and start from there?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like a shrewd move

    Oracle has just refused again to settle with Google - who did nothing more than reimplement Java *from scratch* but providing the same APIs - and many more years of litigation are on the cards.

    So it seems to me that any business based on compilers or application runtime environments would be very wise to keep away from Java (even one with pockets as big as Microsoft). MS has no strategic interest in enhancing the Java ecosystem.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Java developers across the world should uninstall Visual Studio and any other Microsoft products where feasible alternatives are available (such as Office - use Open Office instead - there is no need to use Microsoft's software any more!

    1. rahabrx

      Re: Revenge

      This is ludacris. The idea of feasible alternatives is quite frankly hilarious as it implies you are willing to use poorer quality applications to boycott a company because it does not support the language you primarily use for development (I assume you must know other languages).

      I am actually thankful, retrospectively that Microsoft got out of the Java business when Sun sued them almost 2 decades ago. If they had not, even more people would be writing in Java today and there are way too many people writing in it as it is.

  14. rahabrx

    As a developer, the least attractive thing about the Android platform is and has always been the Java programming language. Java started as a bad language (verbose, dogmatic, and uniquely lacking in expressiveness) and rapidly declined into an even worse one when compared to its competition as it failed to evolve. There are however, good languages on the JVM such as Scala and Kotlin.

    That said, I feel bad for anyone who depended on the RoboVM.

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