If you're developing Applets or Web Start-applications, it's extra important to check if your software works with future releases. You might even want to align your own releases with the coming Java releases.
In the list below, you can see the release dates of Java from version 7 update 40 and up.
- 7u40 10 Sep 2013 LU
- 7u45 15 Oct 2013 CPU
- 7u51 14 Jan 2014 CPU
- 7u55 15 Apr 2014 CPU
- 7u60 28 May 2014 LU
- 7u65 15 Jul 2014 CPU
- 7u71 14 Oct 2014 CPU
- 7u75 20 Jan 2015 CPU
- 7u81 14 Apr 2015 CPU
The designation CPU means Critical Patch Update and they use odd numbers, which are calculated by adding multiples of five to the prior LU release and when needed adding one to keep the resulting number odd. There are three planned CPU releases after each LU release, e.g. after u40 comes u45, u51 and u55. The free numbers, e.g. u53 can be used for unplanned releases.
The LU releases are concerned with adding new features.
The CPU release are concerned with security fixes and have previously had some impact on Applets and Web Start-applications, because security has be tightened, resulting in warnings or (worse) application that would not start.
I've gathered this information from the following, where you can find more information:
Early Access Releases to test whether you're software works with the next release.
You might also want to check out the complete Java version history.'
Update 11 Jun 2014: Inserted correct release date of 7u60 and added release 7u81.