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Oracle will start auto-updating Windows 32-bit, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) users from JRE 6 to JRE 7 in December 2012.
The Java auto-update mechanism is designed to keep Java users up-to-date with the latest security fixes. To achieve this goal Windows users that rely on Java’s auto-update mechanism will have their JRE 6 replaced with JRE 7.
In December 2012 Oracle will start to auto-update a sample of users from JRE 6 to JRE 7 to evaluate the auto-update mechanism, user experience and seamless migration. Oracle will then start auto-updating all Windows 32-bit users from JRE 6 to JRE 7 with the update release of Java, Java SE 7 Update 15 (Java SE 7u15), due in February 2013.
The Java auto-update process updates the latest version of Java on a user’s Windows machine. During the automatic update from JRE 6 to JRE 7, if a user only has one version of Java 6 the auto-update process will replace that JRE 6 with the latest version of JRE 7 leaving only JRE 7 in the system.
The auto-update process updates only the latest JRE on your system. Versions other than the latest will not be removed as there are cases in which a user, particularly enterprise users, would need more than one version of Java on their systems.
No, where an enterprise IT department manages the Java versions of the users in their enterprise, auto-update does not effect users.
Unless you have a support contract with Oracle you will not be able to get security updates for JRE 6 from Oracle after February 2013 and it is not advisable to keep older versions of Java on your system. Nevertheless if you would like to continue to have both versions, JRE 6 and JRE 7 can be installed on the same computer.
No. All Java auto-updates request the user’s permission before installing a new version on their system.
Oracle strives to make new versions of Java backward compatible with earlier versions and the vast majority of Java applications written for older versions of Java will work –without any change- on newer versions of the JRE. There are however some exceptions. Any change in the code –even if only to fix a security vulnerability- has the potential to cause an application to stop working properly.
To revert back from JRE 7 to JRE 6, first uninstall JRE 7. Then reinstall the latest JRE 6 version. Until April 2013, the latest version of JRE 6 can be found on the Download tab of the Java SE section on OTN. After April 2013 further security updates to JRE 6 will only be available through My Oracle Support and will require a support contract with Oracle.
It depends. By default, Java applications that are accessed through a web-browser or webstart will use the latest version of Java on the system. It is possible for an application to specifiy the Java version required. If an application has left it up to the system on which it is running to determine which version to use, and you have JRE 6 and JRE 7, only JRE 7 will be used. If an application has specified JRE 6, and you have both on your system, JRE 6 will be used.
Yes, however note that users will be unable to receive public security updates after February 2013. See the Applet Deployment documentation on setting the JRE version for applets. See the JNLP File Syntax documentation for how to set the JRE version for a webstart application. See the Java SE documentation for APIs, Developer guides, Release Notes and more.
We will do a first test by auto-updating a small percentage of users, randomly chosen, from JRE 6 to 7 in December 2012. The full auto-update from JRE 6 to 7 for all users is planned to be turned on in February 2013.
Not really. By the time we set the rules to update from JRE 6 to 7 we expect that most Windows 32-bit users will have already been updated to the most secure version of Java. Those users will not see additional updates as part of this upgrade, instead users that are on the latest version of JRE 6 (6u35 or above) will not be asked to auto-update until the next security update, due on February 19, 2013, rolls out. Only at that point do we expect most users to be auto-updated to JRE 7.
Your application provider should be able to guide you. Contact them directly.
Until February 2013, Oracle will continue to provide updates to JRE 6 via our public download sites. After the End of Public Updates in February 2013, if you have a valid support contract for an Oracle Product that requires Java, or an Oracle Java SE Support contract, you can download the support versions of Java from My Oracle Support. Oracle will continue to provide updates for JRE 6 for our customers with support contracts after the End of Public Updates to JRE 6. See the Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap for additional details.