With Oracle acquiring Sun in April 2009, it also took control of Java's future. Everyone agreed Java technology was more or less stalling before this buyout happened, however knowing differences between the cultures at Sun and Oracle, many people (analysts and developers especially) realized that for better or worse, the agreement would have massive consequences for the whole ecosystem.
This new era in Java 's history began badly, with Java creator James Gosling leaving the company in September 2009, followed by JRuby and Hudson creators amongst many others. The problems continued, with the Apache Software Foundation leaving the Java Community Process, the underlying entity leading evolution and certification of Java. For developers like me who are daily users of Apache's tools and libraries, this was not good news. Not to mention recent lawsuits against Google concerning the Android ecosystem...
Fortunately it is not all gloom and doom : Oracle made some important decisions since they abandoned uncertain technologies such as JavaFX Script and finally adopted a plan for the next release of the programming language. Many predicted the fall of the Java ecosystem last year, but it seems to me that there are far fewer voices expressing such opinions as of late, as TIOBE confirmed Java is still the most popular programming language.
It is interesting to wonder what might have happened had Java been less popular, although for now it looks like the Java community is strong and is set for a brighter future... at least I hope so!