JavaOne: Java SE: A Youthful Maturity
SE 7 will include dynamic language support at the bytecode level as well as more modularity features. Modularity will be provided using the Java Module System which is supposed to be simpler and provide some way to integrate other module systems such as OSGI. It should also allow for breaking down the monolithic aspect of Java SE itself.
Breaking up SE will introduce formal subsets called profiles, e.g. Java SE "Headless" which would remove all of the GUI related code. That would slim things down a bit for app server installations.
Saw a demo of VisualVM. Nice tool. First time I've seen it but looks valuable for debugging issues in the JVM.
JRE penetration is very high, near 80% of desktops out there have the JRE. 100 Million downloads in March alone and the auto-update activity is up. Those are flash-like numbers. However the downside is the JRE is a huge download. Sun needs to get cracking on that module system.