Just came across this article
regarding Java and Internet Explorer.
Essentially, the gist is that there are two ways for Java to execute in IE, one as an active X control, and the other way as an applet.
Since there are two ways to run Java, there should be two things done to shut it down (if needed). One would be to go to manage addons and disable the Java related addons. That takes care of the Active X.
Then, dealing with Java being called for as an applet would need to be dealt with. As the article explains, this can be dealt with in Group Policy. Since I have XP professional, that's how I dealt with it. You should be aware that if you want to shut Java down for a particular zone, that setting didn't show in my IE8. So, I backed up HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\SO\JAVAPER and then ran the registry file indicated in the article and the Java setting for the individual internet zones now shows in the IE control panel for the individual IE zones.
So, just wanted to point out that in IE, Java can be invoked either by Active X, or by applet. Perhaps the setting in the Oracle Java control panel to not run Java in Internet Explorer is sufficient to shut Java down, but if one doesn't want to have a single point of failure, there are other things that can be done. Until I read that article, I thought disabling the Java addons was enough, but that apparently only shuts off the Active X invocation.
OS: XP professional
Edit: I'm not vouching for that registry file. I installed it, and everything looked good. In the Internet Zone, my ability to change the Java setting was disabled since I had a setting in Group Policy. However, in the Restricted Zone, even though I also disabled Java in that Zone, in the browser control panel, the setting wasn't disabled.
Conclusion: This affirms my decision to buy professional products that can be administrated, as opposed to home user products.
2nd edit: I had previously disabled Java applets in Group Policy at the Computer configuration level. I went back in and disabled Java in the Internet and Restricted zones at the User Configuration level, and this time, the setting in the browser for the Restricted zone was disabled. So, if one wants to disable Java applets in IE for any of the zones, I recommend applying the settings at both the Computer configuration and User configuration levels.