While Apple will continue to provide its existing Java SE 6 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and the forthcoming 10.7 Lion, future versions will be available from Oracle.
"We're delighted to be working with Oracle to insure that there continues to be a great version of Java on the Mac," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering. "The best way for our users to always have the most up to date and secure version of Java will be to get it directly from Oracle," he added.
One of the complaints about Apple's implementation of Java has been the way it lags behind others, particularly in terms of the delivery of security updates. That was practically inevitable, as development for Mac OS was not carried out in parallel with other implementations, and Apple's implementation was more customised than most.
Oracle's Henrik StÃ¥hl warned that the first release of JDK 7 for Mac OS X will follow that for other platforms. "The JDK 7 schedule can not easily accomodate large changes like the addition of a new platform," he noted.
However, Mr StÃ¥hl pointed out that it was "too early to say" how much later the Mac version of JDK 7 will arrive, and at what stage the Mac version will be released simultaneously with other platforms.
Apple will contribute most of the key components, tools and technology required for the Java SE 7 implementation.
Java creator James Gosling (who left Sun shortly after its acquisition by Oracle) described the development as "incredibly encouraging".