Spent a frustrating day trying to make this work. Suddenly at 10am this morning java stopped working for me. I d/led the latest version from the oracle site, allowing it to identify the correct version for my system (I run win7 professional with a 32 bit browser). Installed ok with no messages but wouldn't verify and clearly wasn't working in IE10. To cut a long story short, the answer was to turn off active x filtering. Can't remember whether thus was turned on or off before but I don't think I changed any parameters this morning., Anyway it's very definitely now OFF.
Is it a new 'feature'? If it is, some warning should be bundled with java and on the oracle sites to ensure it is turned off.