Multiplatform

Multi-platform software is software developed for more than one operating system. Some software operates on multiple operating systems using a multi-platform framework, while other applications maintain separate codebases for each platform. Multi-platform software is also known as "cross-platform."

There are multiple strategies for developing multi-platform software. Multi-platform frameworks built on web technologies are common for smaller applications since they allow a small team to deliver an application to a multi-platform audience. Larger teams can support separate versions of their applications with their own source code, where each version is written specifically for its platform. For example, Adobe Photoshop is a multi-platform app that maintains different codebases for each operating system, while the Slack app uses a multi-platform framework called Electron.

In the consumer gaming market, multi-platform games run on more than one gaming machine. For example, a sports game developed for Xbox, Playstation, and PC would be a multi-platform game. If a game is developed exclusively for one system — i.e. a game in the "The Legend of Zelda" series for Nintendo — it is not multi-platform. Gaming hardware manufacturers use exclusive software to attract consumers to buy their systems.

Updated November 7, 2022

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