Believe it or not, but Macs
are susceptible to security vulnerabilities too, and perhaps erring on the side of caution, Apple
has begun removing dated versions of Oracle's Java
software from OS X when Mac users upgrade to the latest release.
"Java for OS X 2012-006 delivers improved security, reliability, and compatibility by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_37.
This update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers," Apple stated on its support website. "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."
Interestingly, Apple didn't specify exactly what prompted the change, and Oracle isn't commenting on it, either. However, Reuters
reports the two companies came to an agreement two years ago that at some point Apple would no longer distribute Java software to Mac users, handing the responsibility over to Oracle. No date was announced at the time.
Java allows programmers to write a single set of code that can run on multiple platforms/browsers, hence why it's so popular. At the same time, some security researchers advise turning off Java when it's not needed, or even uninstalling it completely to reduce the risk of Java-based infections.