Java 8 is bringing much anticipated features such as Lambda expressions, Type Annotations and Virtual Extensions.
While this functionality is a) valuable, b) playing catch up with cooler languages, are these richer, higher level functionality the only area Java should be focused.
What are the most widely used languagesThere are many ways to assess which are the most widely used languages. One index which attempts to consider a wide variety of sources is the Tiobe Index. The positions and ratings are taken from Jan 2013.
|12||Visual Basic .NET||1.0%||newer||no||higher|
The "Age" is based on the initial release date, the "cooler" is purely subjective on my part, and the "Level" column is whether the language supports lower level functionality or is it designed to be more abstract/higher level.
What I take from this list that there are many higher level languages, but the really popular ones support lower level constructs. e.g. Java is the only one in the top 5 not to support structs directly. (It has an optimisation which can work aorund this to a small degree)