Java is a framework that has existed since the mid 1990's that allows other programs to run and function properly. It's common enough that it's a language that can be found on every platform, from personal computers to game consoles and cell phones, and a large portion of online business transactions take place thanks to Java implementations. While Java is a piece of software that almost everyone is going to want to have installed, there have been the occasional major security issue in the past. At one point last year, it was recommended that Java browser plug-ins be closed off as they offered easy access to the user's system. Luckily, these sorts of problems are relatively rare. Since so much other software requires some aspect of Java in order to function properly, it's one of those software packages that nearly everyone is going to have installed anyway. Just be certain to keep it updated as much as possible.
Originally developed by Sun Microsystems and now maintained by Oracle, Java has become an increasingly crucial cog in the worldwide Internet. Each year, over 930 million downloads of Java Runtime Environment take place, according to java.com. An up-to-date installation of JRE 1.6 (Java 64 bit) offers performance, versatility and security that make it an absolute necessity for users of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
All it takes is the free and simple download and subsequent install from this page. From that point forward, you will have the most up-to-date and stable version of Java software—Java 7. And best of all, as it works its magic in the background, you will never have to actively tinker with the Java program again.Rating: out of 5