A few days ago, rumors have been swirling around that Oracle is pulling Java support for Windows XP, offering yet another reason to users who're still on this platform to at least consider an upgrade in the near future.
The company today issued a statement to explain that all these reports have actually been inaccurate, as Java will continue not only to work on Windows XP, but also to receive updates on this particular platform.
“We expect all versions of Java that were supported prior to the Microsoft de-support announcement to continue to work on Windows XP for the foreseeable future. In particular, we expect that JDK 7 will continue to work on Windows XP,” Oracle explained.
“Security updates issued by Oracle will continue to be pushed out to Windows XP desktops. Users that download JDK 7 from java.oracle.com or java.com will continue to be able to install on Windows XP.”
At the same time, last week's reports also indicated that Oracle might not make Java 8 work on Windows XP at all, but the company again says that this isn't entirely true.
While there are some compatibility issues when trying to install Java 8 on Windows XP, Oracle says that users can always unpack the installer manually and everything should run just fine.
The company explains that it might fix this behavior in the coming months, but a decision on this is yet to be made, as it's not yet sure whether it's worth upgrading to a new Java release without upgrading the operating system that's powering your computer.
“JDK 8 is not supported on Windows XP, and there are known issues with the installer on Windows XP that prevent it from installing without manual intervention. We are looking at possible ways to address this issue but may decide not to - if you are on Windows XP it’s not clear that it’s worth updating to Java 8 without also updating the OS,” it said.
Java 7 will continue to receive updates on Windows XP until April 2015 and by this time, everyone is expected to eventually move to a newer operating system.
If that doesn't happen and usage remains high, Oracle has a backup plan, but it's not yet ready to disclose it. “There are several options available to us if that becomes necessary,” it said, explaining that Windows XP users running Java won't be left unprotected after end of support.