Google has recruited James Gosling in a move that could have big implications for the company's patent troubles with Oracle.
Given the legal problems Google is currently having with Oracle and Microsoft over the use of Java in Android, in particular the Virtual Machine which Gosling originally wrote, the hire could be very useful in court.
"Through some odd twists in the road over the past year, and a Tardis encountered along the way, I find myself starting employment at Google today," Gosling blogged.
"I find it odd that this time I'm taking the road more travelled, but it looks like interesting fun with huge leverage. I don't know what I'll be working on. I expect it'll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon."
Gosling's recruitment will add huge weight to Google's development of Java, as well as helping on the legal side.
Gosling has an encyclopedic Java knowledge, and is very popular within the industry. He could also attract other big names to research the technology at Google.
He joined Sun in 1984 and stayed with the company until the Oracle takeover. However Gosling has become increasingly scathing of the Oracle management in public comments since leaving the firm, reportedly referring to chief executive Larry Ellison as the prince of darkness.
"Clearly there is some animus there," Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told V3.co.uk.
"He clearly is going to know where a lot of the bodies are buried on Java, so this works in Google's favour."
However, Enderle pointed out that such big-name hirings by established companies do sometimes cause problems.
He cited Ray Ozzie's short term at Microsoft, where Redmond's organisational structure proved too limiting and caused Ozzie to become frustrated at his lack of influence.
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