From further testing, I am now getting inconsistent results. Initially I thought I only had problems with the MST version of the install. I have customised the settings and applied MST to the original MSI, with some switches to customise the setup (such as disabling autoupdate, etc).
But, it seems the original setup install gives me similar results. Initially the speed of applet can be quick.. but if you try several times, there will be occasions that it will take ages for the applet to load. Sometimes its slow from start... very inconsistent.
I am testing the java runtime on this website (http://javatester.org/version.html)
The only version to show consistency is version 6. It is fast all the time.
However, have tested Version 7, update 21, 51, 55. They all seem similarly inconsistent.
Any ideas what I can tweak to make version 7 faster, consistently? or some kind of logging, to see what is causing the delay?
Just an update.
It seems the issue was with the Proxy setting.
Automatically Detect settings was ticked, and this seems to have caused the slowness.
Soon as I untick this setting, then the java pages load fast again.
I spoke too soon.
Still not working properly.
Now, what I have found is that, it looks like a proxy issue.
Tried the machine on direct ADSL connection, and it is faster. Not as fast as I would like, but faster.
Back on internet network, through proxy... slow. But it is adhoc.. not always slow, occasionally loads fast.