Also have this problem. We also used to point our java app shortcuts to the system32 or syswow64, but with Java 8 this is no longer an option. Updating shortcuts every time there is a new java version is unrealistic. Similar to Jeff, the symlinks in the ProgramData folder don't seem to work.
found a workaround:
the symlinks work in the command line, they just don't work in the GUI environment. The question is though, is this by design or is it a bug.
so if you make your shortcuts start with "cmd /c <path to symlinks> -jar <path to jar>" and have that run minimized so the dos box does not appear, that is what is working for us now.
According to some other threads i've seen though. the java installer is not supposed to be putting the version in the path by default according to their documentation unless you pass it an argument to explicitly do so. So I think Oracle still has some explaining to do.