It sounds like Java didn't get installed. If it doesn't appear in "Add/Remove" programs, then it isn't installed. So Michael should install it again, and this time make sure to get the "Java Virtual Machine".
Java has some notable security flaws as of late, so he definitely should have the latest version. Leo's general recommendation though is not to turn it on unless he really needs it. It's getting used less and less on the web. Some browsers like Chrome will actually ask you each time if you want to use Java, and then give you the option to run it every time on that site or not.
Since Michael wanted to adjust preferences in Java, Leo suggests a free Java Preferences Tool that would be far better than Java's preference options anyway.