Along with Flash Player from Adobe, Oracle’s Java has had its own share of vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. While the situation has improved somewhat following harsh scrutiny towards Oracle, and Sun Microsystems before them, the team behind Java have decided to minimize risks further by completely dropping support for Windows XP.
As you are well aware of, Microsoft have dropped support for Windows XP earlier this year, forcing users to upgrade to a newer version of Windows to stay secure. However, according the CEO of Danish IT security firm Heimdal Security, Windows XP is still widely used among customers and enterprises. As you can see from the chart below, Windows XP still accounts for over 80% of systems in use that run Java.
Not only will Windows XP no longer be supported, but Java will cease to work on the operating system if you update it to Java 8. If you rely on Java, your only two options are to remain with Java 7 at your own risk, or upgrade to a newer version of Windows.