Java blamed for Internet banking lockout

Online banking customers using Microsoft's Windows XP or Explorer 6 need to download Java in order to access many bank websites or they will be denied access. The phase-out of Microsoft's Java virtual machine is being blamed for an Internet banking lock-out which has been reported by several St George Bank customers recently.

A St George spokesman confirmed that Java must be downloaded to use the bank's site but said that it's not just a St George problem: it applies to any site powered by Java and being used by people with Windows XP and Explorer 6. He said that when customers try to log on for the first time to Internet banking they will be prompted to download the software required.

Paul Roworth of Microsoft Australia confirmed that the Java virtual machine was not included in its Windows XP and Explorer 6 products. The decision came about in the wake of a settlement agreement with Sun in resolution of litigation.