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MORE: Best PC Antivirus Software 2014"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important point here is that we can no longer provide complete guarantees for Java on Windows XP, since the OS is no longer being updated by Microsoft," he warned.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.
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Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, and Oracle followed that announcement with a short post to the Web sitewarning that users of Java 7 updates on XP do so "at their own risk" and that "support will only be provided against Microsoft Windows releases Windows Vista or later." Further, XP users will not be able install Java 8 on their machines without upgrading their operating systems.
The misunderstanding, says Henrik Stahl, vicw president of product management in Oracle's Platform Group, is that people think Java no longer on XP and that Oracle will stop Java updates from being applied to XP. Writing in his "thoughts on Java" blog, he said, "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." He added that security updates issued by Oracle would continue to be pushed out to Windows XP desktops.
Some XP users panicked last week when Oracle seemed to say its XP support was at an end.Although a surprisingly large-but-declining number of consumers are still on XP, corporate usage of the OS is minimal, Gartner analyst Mark Driver points out."There are a lot of very old PCs out there," he said.Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady agrees: "While there are still a lot of [XP machines] in circulation, relatively speaking, they won't be for long," he said."As for enterprises, of that usage, I suspect the majority are from old personal computers.
Microsoft no longer releases security patches or updates for the operating system, with the exception of specialized "embedded" versions.