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Java Promises Continued Windows XP Support

If this is the XPocalypse, it isn't so bad. Not yet, at least.

Computer software company Oracle, makers of the Java platform-independent software environment used by many games and Web applications, says it will continue to support Java 7 on the Windows XP operating system — for a little while, at least. Some XP users panicked last week when Oracle seemed to say its XP support was at an end. (Microsoft ended its own support for Windows XP in April.)

Meanwhile, Oracle released 113 new security patches in its quarterly Critical Patch Update that affect a wide range of Oracle products, including the end-user Java SE and enterprise-level software such as Fusion Middleware, GlassFish Server, iPlanet Web Server and WebLogic Server.

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"We expect all versions of Java that were supported prior to the Microsoft de-support announcement to continue to work on Windows XP for the foreseeable future," clarified Henrik Stahl, Oracle's vice president of product management, in a company blog post.

Java 7 software on Windows XP will continue to receive security updates, Stahl added, and confirmed that Java Development Kit (JDK, needed to build Java applications) 7 will work and install on Windows XP through April 2015, when Oracle plans to officially retire Java 7.

Java 8, however, is not supported on XP, and the associated JDK 8 developer software will not automatically install on the platform, though it can be manually installed.

"If you are on Windows XP, it's not clear that it's worth updating to Java 8 without also updating the OS," Stahl said, adding that Oracle cannot guarantee that Java products will continue to work on XP machines indefinitely.

"The important point here is that we can no longer provide complete guarantees for Java on Windows XP, since the OS is no longer being updated by Microsoft," he warned.

First launched in 2001, the Windows XP operating system was officially retired by Micrsooft on April 8, 2014. Microsoft no longer releases security patches or updates for the operating system, with the exception of specialized "embedded" versions. Many third-party software companies plan to continue to support their own products, including the Web browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and WhiteHat Aviator, on Windows XP, .

You can find the full list of Oracle's Critical Patch Updates on the company's website.

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Jill Scharr is a creative writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. She previously worked as a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide, covering video games, online security, 3D printing and tech innovation. 

  • back_by_demand
    All due respect to industry that may not want to spend big on updating due to cost, but there is no reason not to update from XP to 8.1

    Get Classicshell, make it look and feel like Windows 7, stop using a ropey, old, slow, insecure OS
  • knowom
    Java is not perfect, but at least Oracle is doing the right thing continuing support for a bit longer XP is by no means a dead OS just cast aside by Microsoft.
  • All the reason in the world not to update from XP to Win8. Win8 sucks. If one wants to update, update to 7, or wait and see if 9 will be worth it.