Don’t get brave

Java still lives on Windows XP

Lucy Carey
xp

Oracle spokesman rounds on claims that Java is dead on the retro OS, emphasising that future security patches for J-7 will still be viable.

 

Let’s be frank: Windows 8.0 was an ungodly mashup of
mobile and desktop, more akin to David Cronenberg’s Brundlefly
creature than the relatively seamless Mac equivalent. There are
also vast numbers of enterprises working with legacy systems that
would be costly and time consuming to update. Little wonder then
that so many users are clinging to good old Windows XP, or that so
many users were outraged when Microsoft and Oracle announced their
respective cessation of support for the operating system and Java
on Windows XP.

According to Microsoft’s Java
website
, “Users may still continue to use Java 7
updates on Windows XP at their own risk, but support will only be
provided against Microsoft Windows releases Windows Vista or
later.”
Logically, a good deal of XP loyalists jumped
to the conclusion that “Java is dead on Windows XP,” given that
with this withdrawal of support, should disaster strike, there may
be no patch or workaround available to counter the
problem.

This week, though Henrik Stahl
-
Oracle vice-president of product
management in the Java Platform Group -
has had enough
of this doom mongering, issuing

a statement
to reassure customers that claims
“Java no longer works on Windows XP” or “Oracle will stop Java
updates from being applied on Windows XP,” are far from the mark.
 

Stahl writes that, for the foreseeable future,
they expect “all versions of Java that were supported prior to the
Microsoft de-support announcement to continue to work on Windows
XP.” Moreover, there’s no looming danger of JDK 7 grinding to a
halt on XP desktops, and any security patches pushed out by Oracle
will be pushed out to Windows XP desktops – and you can still
download and install JDK 7 on the retro system from
java.oracle.com
or java.com.

The fact remains though that, without Window’s
updates, there are no more guarantees for Java on the OS – so bad
luck if you’re stuck using it for going forward. As we’ve seen over
the past year with the leap in exploitation of Java 6


vulnerabilities,
Java without
full support is more porous than your average swiss cheese. Whilst
it’s great that, dependant on user demand, enterprise users will be
able to depend on the XP OS for a while longer, the safest option
remains to update.

Java 8 users are still out of luck when it comes
to Windows XP – but then, if you were committed to XP, it’s
relatively unlikely you’re looking to use the cutting edge of Java.
Oracle is looking for fixes for the known issues with the installer
on XP that force manual intervention, but, as the nineties legends
write, “if you are on Windows XP it’s not clear that it’s worth
updating to Java 8 without also updating the OS.”

 

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