Consumers and businesses still using Java SE 6 should start looking to upgrade to Java 7 by now, as Oracle announced yesterday that it will issue its last patch to the widely used version of the Java platform on February 19, 2013.
“After February 2013, Oracle will no longer post updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites,” according to a post on the Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap. “Developers and end-users are encouraged to update to more recent Java SE versions that remain available for public download.”
Oracle, however said, that existing Java SE 6 downloads already posted as of February 2013, will remain in the Java Archive on the Oracle Technology Network and business users may still access support.
“For enterprise customers, who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java 6 or older version, long term support is available through Oracle Java SE Support,” the bulletin said.
Java 6, which was released in 2006, remains very popular and Apple continues to maintain software for OS X users. Java vulnerabilities, however, were heavily targeted by attackers in 2012 as seen in the Flashback Trojan attack on Apple machines which infected no less than 600,000 users.
Oracle has already extended Java 6’s end-of-life twice in 2012. The first was from July to November 2012 and then from November 2012 to February 2013.
The retirement of Java 6 could pose a problem for many Mac users.
Java 7 can run on all current Windows versions including Windows XP, but Java 7 requires OS X 10.7 (Lion) or its successor Mountain Lion on Macs. Approximately 41 per cent of all Macs still run on versions that are older than OS X 10.7.
Earlier this year, Oracle was also reported to be having problems in finishing Java EE7, with company officials saying its delivery deadline will be met but without support for cloud technologies such as platform-as-a-service and multitenancy.