Thursday, June 18, 2009

Windows Update - The Update That Isn't There

Ever since Sun managed to 'extract' the Java Virtual Machine from Microsoft, updates for Java SE have only been available to those checking the Java Website or those who have 'notify' or 'automatic update' turned on.

While Java has generally been declining in use, it still is used on many websites (and for many other apps and applications).

Earlier today, the Java 'engine' was upgraded to SE6 Update 14.
The Update has a host of bug fixes, speed enhancements and more. Release notes can be found here.

Unfortunately, there is still no mention of Google's Chrome Browser.

Two things to keep in mind:
1) On most Windows systems, you will see multiple versions of Java showing in your 'programs'.  It IS safe (and will save some hard disk space) to remove the older one.
2) Continuing the tradition of 'icky bundling', Java comes packaged with the Yahoo! toolbar on either fresh installs OR and updates.  If you don't want the toolbar, you can opt-out during the installation (or uninstall it afterwards).

Java SE Update 14 can be found at the dedicated Java website here.

Sidenotes:  Despite not being listed, the upgrade is working here under Windows 7 RC without conflicts.
Mac OS X users should use the software update feature to check for updates.

Update 1 (Correction):  The recent versions of Java are compatible with Google's Chrome browser (It's just not mentioned specifically on the Sun website).