Occasionally, I pretend to be a Python developer. Thus far, my IDE of choice has been PyDev + Eclipse. Recently, I did a few minor upgrades to my development box that allowed my to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista 64. Before I could begin using Eclipse, I needed to install the latest version of the JRE. Since I prefer to download native 64-bit applications, I selected the 64-bit version of Java. Now, I’m good to go, right? Wrong.
Unlike the 64-bit version of .NET, the 64-bit version of Java apparently requires developers to create special 64-bit binary versions of their code. However, in looking at the Eclipse download page, you’d never know that you needed a special 64-bit version (for Windows). Only after a significant amount of treasure hunting did I find the location of the 64-bit version, found here.
To sum things up, you’re better of downloading the 32-bit version of Java as the majority of applications that you’re going to want to run will only work with the 32-bit version of the JRE.