SAP can use Java SE 1.4.2 for a longer time.
SAP and Sun signed an aggreement about providing Java SE for Business support to Windows and Linux customers. This support prolongs the support for the aging 1.4.2 version of the Java SE used in Netweaver. This version was released in 2002 but is still in use in some implementations despite the release of Java 5 and 6 and the upcoming release of Java 7. You miss Solaris in the list? You don´t need the coverage of the agreement here. The Sun website states:
Java SE for Business ships with a no-cost license for individual and commercial use on Solaris and with other Sun software (see license with the product for specific terms and conditions). In addition, customers can obtain support for Java SE for Business consistent with existing Sun software service contracts with which Java SE for Business is used, per the terms and conditions of your service list.
BTW: Is it just me, or is the Register overly negative in regard of Sun. Or a little bit bitchy in the recent time. Just look at this article. At first … if the hike in support costs for SAP was made to pay Sun, the support for SAP on Solaris must be cheaper now, as it´s out of scope of the aggrement. And the free support for 1.4.2 was never announced as live long for free - don´t know where they got this idea. The support for 1.4.2 would have ended already without Java SE for Business, with it you can get support for up to 15 years now.