Oracle releases Java Standard Edition 7

Oracle has released its first major update to the Java platform since acquiring Sun Microsystems.

Oracle has released Java Standard Edition 7 (SE 7) - its first major update to the Java platform since acquiring Sun Microsystems.

Oracle took control of the Java platform as part of its acquisition of Sun in 2010. In the first major update to the open-source platform in five years, the SE 7 release introduced support for programming languages such as Ruby, Python and Javascript, simplifications to common programming tasks, and a "multicore-ready" API [application programming interface].

Oracle said 97% of enterprise desktops run Java with more than three billion devices being powered by Java technology.

The company also confirmed plans to develop the next version, Java SE 8.

"I'm pleased that the Java community has come together in favour of technical progress and that we have a clear path forward for Java SE 8," said Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java products.

"Oracle has a strong vested interest in the success of the Java platform and is firmly committed to delivering a consistent, high-performance, high-quality Java SE implementation and will be supporting the Java SE 7 release across the Oracle Fusion Middleware product portfolio," he added.

Oracle confirmed plans to increase investment in the Java platform. Quoted in an Oracle blog post, Steve Harris, senior vice president of app server development at Oracle, said the company's priority is to keep Java "vibrant", moving towards "free and open" and to improve support for the Java developer community.

Developers can access the new SE 7 release via NetBeans IDE 7 (Integrated Development Environment), Eclipse Indigo with the Java SE 7 plug-in, or IntelliJ IDEA 10.5.

Oracle JDeveloper support for JDK 7 will be released later in 2011.

In August 2010, Oracle sued Google over its Android mobile operating system software because it uses Java technology acquired by Oracle when it bought Sun Microsystems.

Earlier this week, a US judge rejected Oracle's claim for $2.6bn in damages from Google for infringing Java patents, but has given Oracle the chance to come up with a more reasonable claim.

The next Oracle Java SE critical patch update is due on 18 October 2011.

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