The last publicly available release of Oracle JDK 6 is to be released in February, 2013.This means that after February 19, 2013, all new security updates, patches and fixes for Java SE 6 and Java SE 5 will only be available through My Oracle Support and will thus require a commercial license with Oracle. It's important for developers and systems administrators to either make the transition over to Java SE 7 or to work with Oracle to get updates via the Java SE Support program.
Ha! I just left a project where they were still using Java 1.4, for which all support and security updates ended in 2008. (They hoped they might be able to upgrade within the next year, which is exactly what they said last year.) So this holiday season, as you all enjoy your fancy for-loops, generics, and enumerations, and gorge yourself on delicious annotations, please take a few minutes to remember those developers less fortunate than you. Our problems seem small and petty compared to theirs.