64-bit Windows = 64-bit Java?

Here's one of those counter-intuitive situations that give tech such a bad name and make even an experienced user such as yours truly (with over 20 years of IT involvement) want to throw my arms up in despair. If you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, which version of Java should you install? The 32-bit or 64-bit variety? If you choose 64-bit, you are wrong!

Take a look at this little snippet of information at the official Java website. If you are planning to use Java in your browser (IE, Firefox or Chrome), you'd better install the 32-bit version of Java. The reason is because most browsers are still 32-bit, and they can't access the Java runtime if it is 64-bit. And as far as I know, the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Java cannot co-exist on the same system, so 32-bit is really the only way to go.

You probably only install the 64-bit version of Java on servers where you need the extra "omph" and in-browser Java support is not required. For the rest of us, we have to live in this totally counter-intuitive, crazy world of 32-bit Java within 64-bit Windows!


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