A lot of times these terminologies are confused – Multi-platform, cross-platform and platform independent. Here is a quick reference for you:
Multi-platform or cross-platform software : software is available on more than one platforms (operating systems). This could mean two things -
- The software company provides different builds / applications for different platforms [for example download this package for windows, this one for linux].
- The software can be run (with the same download) on multiple platforms but NOT all.
In fact a multi-platform software may be available for various flavors of unix (hence multi-platform) but not at all in Windows.
Platform Independent software : Platform independent software in its strict sense means – install anywhere and run everywhere – it doesnt matter where you are. Although you may get different installers (for different platforms), this would be just for users ease. There would be options for you to install directly from the source code.
Lot of people think java applications are platform independent. While java itself is platform independent language, it depends on developer to write platform indpendent application based on java. Hey! when there is a deadline …sometimes they dont care about platform independence