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I realized we have another wiindows machine that runs sql-developer just fine. I copied the jdk-6u25-windows-x64.exe from that machine and installed on the newer one. The install complained that a new version of java was already installed. But, the older version works where the newer one did not - does not.
So I'm good. But it would be nice to know why the new versions do not include all the foo that seems to make sql-developer work.
Perhaps the 2007 post you found had similar information to this:
Re: i try to install the sql developer, and i need to set a path to java
Also, keep in mind you can run either 32-bit or 64-bit versions of SQL Developer on 64-bit Windows:
Re: Which Java download needed for SQL Developer
And if you have any issues with the prompt asking for which J2SE SDK to use, you can always reset it in the sqldeveloper.conf file:
Re: Newbie: Need to install Java for Oracle SQL developer
Hope this clarifies everything. And maybe someday we will offer a 64-bit download including a 64-bit JDK.
SQL Developer Team