Several days ago in The Monetization of Java Begins? I spoke about news reported by Slashdot that the much-anticipated G1 garbage collector had become available in Java 6 Update 14 but appeared to be a commercial feature.
Sun has now clarified their position:
The Janitor is told that an earlier version of the release notes implied that you had to have a support contract to use G1. Some certainly ran with that ball and even made a topical story out of it !
Our bad. So we made the notes clearer, because you don't need to do anything special to try it out. Unless you want your kinks fixed before everyone else gets the fixes either in the next update or in JDK 7. In which case, there is nice little program waiting just for you :)
I hope that puts the matter to rest. Still, I do have to wonder. There is a wide gulf between "permitted" and "not recommended", particularly in reference to the "requirement" of a Java support contract. Was this an about-face by Sun? Who knows? Just call me a happy camper that Sun isn't committing suicide (moreso).