Java Version History

The first version of Java was released in February 19, 1997. In fact at that time it was called 'Oak'. The name Java was given with version 'Java 1.0.2' which was also the first stable version of the language.
Originally Java was developed by 'Sun Microsystems'. On January 27, 2010 Sun was acquired by Oracle.

JavaSE 9

Java SE 9 is not yet released and is expected to be released in later half of 2017.

JavaSE 8 (March 18, 2014)

After Java 5, this is the biggest change in java. Major features include:
  • Lambda Expression
  • Nashrom JavaScript Engine
  • Pipeline and Streams
  • Removed permGen.

JavaSE 7 (July 28, 2011)

Codename Dolphin. This was first version after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. Main features include:
  • String in switch-case
  • Automatic resource management in try-statement.
  • Allowing underscore in numeric literals.
  • Diamond ( <> ) operator
  • Simplified varargs method declaration

JavaSE 6 (December 11, 2006)

Codename Mustang. Sun replaced the name 'J2SE' with 'Java SE' and also dropped trailing .0 from version. Important features are listed below:
  • XML processing and web services
Oracle stopped support for Java 6 in Feb March 2013.

J2SE 5.0 (September 30, 2004)

Codename Tiger. This was a huge upgrade to Java. The biggest after java 2. Important features include:
  • Generics
  • Annotations
  • enum
  • Autoboxing/unboxing
  • enhanced for loop
  • static import
  • varargs
  • Java Concurrency API

J2SE 4.0

Codename Merlin. Released in February 6, 2002

J2SE 3.0

Codename Kestrel. Again it had jdk1.3 but is called Java 3 due to marketing reasons. Released in May 8, 2000.

J2SE 1.2 (December 8, 1998)

Codename Playground. It is actually jdk1.2, But in order to show that there is a bigger change from JDK1.1, the marketing guys called it Java2 or J2SE.

JDK 1.1

Java1.0.2 was first stable version of Java.