If Java can run on any system, why is apple so protective of Java and its updates?
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Apple used to supply their own version of Java, but have moved away from that in favour of donating the code to the OpenJDK project.
The fundamental reason is that Java is portable, but the JVM isn't - especially components that are about the platform, such as sound, file-system, and GUI components.
What Apple did was write the OS-X parts of the JVM, and ship them. The OpenJDK move is, in fact, their declaration that they don't want the cost of porting Java to their platform any longer, and that the community can have it.