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Java 6U26 to Java 7?


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Hello, all:

As an old, self-taught home computer user, I've never quite fully understood the nuances of Java (for running Java applets, let alone for "development").

JRE, JDK, Java SE, Java browser plug-ins, java browser "consoles", etc, etc -- the terminology is too confusing for me. :(

So, kindly indulge my wholly unsavvy questions about this, especially since I don't think I've had to do a major Java version update on either machine... :unsure:


When I go to Java.com and test the installed version on both my Win7/64 DT and my Win7/86 LT, I am told I am running 6U26 (which is true) and that I am fully up to date.

(I only have 32-bit installed on the DT, even though the OS is x64.) Moreover, when I open the Java control panel, it confirms that the Java updater checked as recently as last night on the DT and shows that I am up to date.

However, as was posted here in another thread a few days ago (software updates section), and as I see here, Java 7 is in public release.

So, my questions:

1) Why am I told I am up to date both from within the Java CP and from java.com, with only 6U26 on both rigs, when clearly Java 7 has been released?

2) As just a home user (not a developer), I know I don't need the full JDK, but rather "just" the JRE, right?

3) So, the upgrade procedure is to download the Java 7 JRE installer (for the appropriate OS on each rig), close programs (esp browsers), uninstall everything Java from the Windows CP (there is only the 1 program on each rig), reboot and then run the Java 7 installer?

4) Does this automatically update the various Java browser plug-ins? (I know to uninstall all the "Java Consoles" from Firefox...)

5) I know there are potential security vulnerabilities NOT to upgrade, but are there any downsides to updating to v7 (e.g. system crashes, instability)?

6) I know that some folks run without any Java at all (indeed, I uninstalled the 64-bit version from my DT), so could I just uninstall it altogether and not update to v7?

Thanks very much, oh wise and kind MBAM folks! :)





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Hi daledoc1,

As far as I can understand , version 7 is a major platform change to replace version 6 ; it is supposedly fairly much compatible with stuff made by/using 6 , but is not yet being pushed out by Oracle/Sun in a big way as a replacement per se for simple home users (such as I).

Java7 apparently was released too early with a few bugs that can cause crashes of the java engine; it's expected to be fixed in the next release (due to many complaints the priority of the bug fix changed from low to high). Mainly due to problems with my security program (OSS Pro 7.5.1), I've reverted to the current recommended release which remains java6 ie. 1.6.0_26b3. That version works fine in both x64 and x86. And as a moderator on the Outpost forum mentioned : "Never use a .0 of anything! :rolleyes:

From what I read in another forum, Oracle should be ready to distribute a debugged Java 7 JRE (v. 1.7.0.x) to end users within the next week or so.

Hereby some interesting comments and experiences about version 7 (check the "comments" tab if you go there , ref OOo ... ;) )

Now, to your questions :

1) comments above have, I think, quite well answered this point

2) you only have to install JRE (as JDK, which contains JRE, is meant for developers)

3) download version(s)7 (x86 and x64versions in case you're using x86 and x64 browsers); as in this case (= major update), usual installation "over the top" won't work, uninstall version(s) 6 completely, reboot and install version(s)7

4) yes, it does

5) yes, there are still problems / bugs with version 7 .

6) Java is not essential for your computer and can be "removed" without any consequences to your actual system . Some programmes and websites are dependent on Java; if a programme / website needs it, you will likely be prompted to install it , or if one stops working , it should be apparent that it is because you do not have Java . So, it's really up to you.

'Hope all this helps ... :)


(Win7 SP1 x64 Professional)

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Hi, throkr:

Thanks very much indeed!

Your insightful and expert answers clearly explained things very well and confirmed my suspicions about Java 7.

I generally tend to wait a bit on major platform and version upgrades for important software.

However, given the known security vulnerabilities of Java these days, I wasn't sure if the benefit of updating now might outweigh the risk of waiting for the next release.

This is especially so b/c I've seen some of our local MBAM malware helpers recommend the v.7 update to folks whose computers have just been cleaned....

(The experts making these suggestions are, of course, far more expert than I and would be a better position to handle any "complications" of a failed update. ;) )

I think I'll sit tight a while longer.

Thanks again!


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Hi daledoc1,

Glad I could clarify things a little bit. I'm just a home user as you are and tried here to summarize in the best way my readings from several sources.

I'll also wait until the Java developers will release an update of version 7, in other words until the official download page will propose, as usual, only one version (as for the moment version 7 is still proposed together with version 6U26).

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