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A computing platform, digital platform,or software platform is an environment in which software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system (OS), a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed using the services provided by the platform. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage on which computer programs can run.
A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions; and as an assistant to the development process, in that they provide low-level functionality ready-made. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network.
Platforms may also include:
Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform for the one above it. In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer immediately beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine (JVM) and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run on the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS.
An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.
In computing, a virtual machine (VM) is the virtualization or emulation of a computer system. Virtual machines are based on computer architectures and provide the functionality of a physical computer. Their implementations may involve specialized hardware, software, or a combination of the two. Virtual machines differ and are organized by their function, shown here:
Computer operating systems (OSes) provide a set of functions needed and used by most application programs on a computer, and the links needed to control and synchronize computer hardware. On the first computers, with no operating system, every program needed the full hardware specification to run correctly and perform standard tasks, and its own drivers for peripheral devices like printers and punched paper card readers. The growing complexity of hardware and application programs eventually made operating systems a necessity for everyday use.
In computing, cross-platform software is computer software that is designed to work in several computing platforms. Some cross-platform software requires a separate build for each platform, but some can be directly run on any platform without special preparation, being written in an interpreted language or compiled to portable bytecode for which the interpreters or run-time packages are common or standard components of all supported platforms.
Originally, the word computing was synonymous with counting and calculating, and the science and technology of mathematical calculations. Today, "computing" means using computers and other computing machines. It includes their operation and usage, the electrical processes carried out within the computing hardware itself, and the theoretical concepts governing them.
Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. It uses the Gecko rendering engine to display web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards. Firefox is available for Windows 10 or later versions, macOS, and Linux.are available for various Unix and Unix-like operating systems, including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, illumos, and Solaris Unix. It is also available for Android and iOS. However, as with all other iOS web browsers, the iOS version uses the WebKit layout engine instead of Gecko due to platform requirements. An optimized version is also available on the Amazon Fire TV as one of the two main browsers available with Amazon's Silk Browser.
This article presents a timeline of events in the history of computer operating systems from 1951 to the current day. For a narrative explaining the overall developments, see the History of operating systems.
A browser war is a competition for dominance in the usage share of web browsers. The "first browser war," (1995–2001) pitted Microsoft's Internet Explorer against Netscape's Navigator. Browser wars continued with the decline of Internet Explorer's market share and the popularity of other browsers including Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Opera.
In computer security, a sandbox is a security mechanism for separating running programs, usually in an effort to mitigate system failures and/or software vulnerabilities from spreading. The isolation metaphor is taken from the idea of children who do not play well together, so each is given his or her own sandbox to play in alone. It is often used to execute untested or untrusted programs or code, possibly from unverified or untrusted third parties, suppliers, users or websites, without risking harm to the host machine or operating system. A sandbox typically provides a tightly controlled set of resources for guest programs to run in, such as storage and memory scratch space. Network access, the ability to inspect the host system, or read from input devices are usually disallowed or heavily restricted.
Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) is a deprecated application programming interface (API) for web browser plugins, initially developed for Netscape Navigator 2.0 in 1995 and subsequently adopted by other browsers.
The following is a timeline of virtualization development. In computing, virtualization is the use of a computer to simulate another computer. Through virtualization, a host simulates a guest by exposing virtual hardware devices, which may be done through software or by allowing access to a physical device connected to the machine.
Microsoft Silverlight is a discontinued application framework designed for writing and running rich internet applications, similar to Adobe's runtime, Adobe Flash. While early versions of Silverlight focused on streaming media, later versions supported multimedia, graphics, and animation, and gave support to developers for CLI languages and development tools. Silverlight was one of the two application development platforms for Windows Phone, but web pages using Silverlight did not run on the Windows Phone or Windows Mobile versions of Internet Explorer, as there was no Silverlight plugin for Internet Explorer on those platforms.
A site-specific browser (SSB) is a software application that is dedicated to accessing pages from a single source (site) on a computer network such as the Internet or a private intranet. SSBs typically simplify the more complex functions of a web browser by excluding the menus, toolbars and browser GUI associated with functions that are external to the workings of a single site. These applications are typically started by a desktop icon which is usually a favicon.
The Java Development Kit (JDK) is a distribution of Java technology by Oracle Corporation. It implements the Java Language Specification (JLS) and the Java Virtual Machine Specification (JVMS) and provides the Standard Edition (SE) of the Java Application Programming Interface (API). It is derivative of the community driven OpenJDK which Oracle stewards. It provides software for working with Java applications. Examples of included software are the Java virtual machine, a compiler, performance monitoring tools, a debugger, and other utilities that Oracle considers useful for Java programmers.
Comparison of user features of operating systems refers to a comparison of the general user features of major operating systems in a narrative format. It does not encompass a full exhaustive comparison or description of all technical details of all operating systems. It is a comparison of basic roles and the most prominent features. It also includes the most important features of the operating system's origins, historical development, and role.