Java support for Windows XP has been quietly dropped..
The decision may affect millions of PC users still using the aged OS, with market share for XP having increased slightly to 25.31% since Microsoft ended support for it 12 years after its initial release.
"As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP and therefore it is no longer an officially supported platform," the Java web said.
"Users may still continue to use Java 7 updates on Windows XP at their own risk, but support will only be provided against Microsoft Windows releases Windows Vista or later."
The programming language will maintain support for Mac OS X versions from Lion onwards as well as for prominent distributions of Linux, including Red Hat Enterprise, Ubuntu, and Java owners Oracle.
Security firm Heimdal believe that as many as four-fifths of XP users have Java installed, leaving many potentially "left in the dark with a piece of software that is known to be very vulnerable", according to its chief executive Morten Kjaersgaard, who spoke to TechWorld.
Over the years Java has earned a reputation for security problems, attributed by some to its widespread usage, companies' habit of running many legacy versions at once, and difficultly in upgrading or migrating away from software dependent on it.