Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple Update Removes Java From All OS X Browsers

A recently released update to Mac OS X has been found to completely remove all installed Java plugins from all Mac-compatible Web browsers.

Apple is taking a proactive approach when it comes to security vulnerabilities generated by third party software. When recent security vulnerabilities plagued Oracle's Java software framework the company issued an update that turns off Java in the browser when it shows that users hadn't shown recent use of the software. With a Mac OS X update released on Wednesday the company appears to be taking things one step further as the new updates appears to completely remove not just Oracle's Java plugin but Apple's own plug-in for Java.

"This release updates the Apple-provided system Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_37 and is for OS X versions 10.7 or later. This update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers," Apple's Java for OS X 2012-006 advisory says. "To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled "Missing plug-in" to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle."

For users who install the update but still visit Java enable pages you will find a browser placeholder when you encounter Web-based content that requires the software. If you want to run Java applets in your browser on Mac OS X you will be prompted to install the official Oracle Java runtime to run alongside Apple's own software on your system. This of course isn't needed, and isn't really recommend for users that don't need or want Java. But it will mean an added step and an added application that users will need to stay updated on down the line.

Moving away from Java really isn't a major issue. Most of the top websites use JavaScript, not Java. And for sites that do use Java, there's generally an alternative for another service. Very few sites rely solely on the software framework these days.

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