Java Officially Drops Support for Windows XP

Future versions of Java will no longer work on Windows XP

Windows XP is still installed on more than 25 percent of the desktop computers worldwide, and even though users aren’t yet ready to switch to a newer OS version, software developers are one by one dropping support for the ancient platform.

Such is the case of Oracle, the company behind the popular Java runtime environment, who silently killed support for Windows XP and is no longer planning to release any fixes for this particular operating system.

July 15, the day when Oracle is rolling out this month’s batch of updates, won’t bring any fixes for Windows XP users, the company said, while the upcoming Java 8 version won’t work at all on Microsoft’s unsupported operating system.

In a statement released for ZDNet, Oracle explained that the company decided to drop Windows XP support because Microsoft is no longer patching it and recommends users still running it to upgrade to a newer Windows version as soon as possible.

Basically, Oracle said pretty much the same thing as Microsoft, emphasizing that it’s critical for users on XP to upgrade in order to stay secure. However, the company promised to keep Java 7, which also runs on Windows XP, patched as much as possible in order to keep users who are yet to upgrade away from any exploits that could target their computers.

“As you know, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP and recommend their users to upgrade to more recent versions in order to maintain a stable and secure environment. Oracle makes the same recommendation to our users running Java on Windows, and also has a standing recommendation that users stay current with the most recent Java security baseline - currently available for the public for Java 7 and 8,” Henrik Stahl, VP Product Management at Java, said in a statement.

“There are a few compatibility issues with Java 8 on Windows XP, since it is not an officially supported configuration. We are looking at ways to resolve these. For now, we will keep Java users on Windows XP secure by updating them to the most recent Java 7 security update on an ongoing basis. Java users on more recent Windows versions can choose between Java 7 and 8, and depending on their choice will be kept up to date with the most recent Java 7 or 8 security update respectively.”

Java has always been a very vulnerable piece of software that exposed users’ computers to attacks, so Oracle clearly embarks on a very difficult mission now that it wants to abandon Windows XP once and forever. Still, this is clearly a step that needs to be made by every single software company out there and sooner or later, everyone would eventually do it and let Windows XP disappear.

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