An operating system (OS) is a combination of hardware architecture and underlying software that enables a software application to run. A platform may consist of the operating system and fundamental runtime libraries. A typical platform might be Windows, Red Hat Linux, Java, or OS/390. A platform may also be the hardware, storage, and software used to implement a particular software application. Platforms are necessary for a computer to run a software application.
There are two main types of platforms. First, there are utility platforms, which attract users by providing a useful service. These platforms are also open to the second type of participants, such as advertisers or airlines. With this model, there is no network effect, since businesses that use the platform don’t necessarily attract users. Moreover, utility platforms are often easier to launch than peer-to-peer platforms, which require developers to write custom code for each individual application.
Besides the two main levels of platform, there are also level-specific and non-standard platforms. Level-specific platforms are often referred to as “level-specific” and are generally easier to build. The level-two approach allows developers to upload their software into the platform and inject their functionality via a plug-in API or a web services API. Similarly, level-three platforms, also called “synthetic platforms,” allow developers to upload and run their applications on any platform.
While computing platforms are not all alike, almost every software enterprise is building its own platform. Examples of platforms include Facebook, Google’s Android, Amazon Web Services, and Uber. Each platform is designed for different types of software, with different characteristics and network effects. These platforms also have a different strategy for creating and connecting to external systems. A typical platform will have two main components: the operating system and the platform. The operating system is a “core” and a “platform-layer.” These components are used to connect applications.
The first type of platform is the server. The latter is used in large enterprises and is usually more powerful than single-user systems. These servers can act as servers as well. Those servers serve the workstations, which typically require database access, remote files, and web pages. IBM and Sun are the two leading manufacturers of mid-range and high-end workstations, and Windows is the dominant operating system on these machines. However, it should be noted that there are also versions of Unix and Linux that can be used on most platforms.
In the internet of things (IoT) space, platforms for running software are increasingly becoming commonplace. For example, the operating system for a mobile phone might be a cloud platform with specialized APIs for security, analytics, and device management. Some platforms are focused on consumer demands, such as ride-sharing services, grocery delivery, and on-demand consumer services. The latter platform typically has a built-in payment system, which allows users to track the progress of their request and rate the service they receive.
In addition to mobile platforms, other platforms are important to understand. Mobile platforms include mobile operating systems and environments, while cloud platforms provide services to mobile apps. Some may also have specialized APIs, which can be useful for mobile app developers. And in other cases, platforms may consist of web servers, web application servers, and content delivery networks. Edge computing is another type of platform that supports various applications and services. Publishable content is another popular example of a publishing platform.