Standard platform

A computer and operating system built for general-purpose use. It cannot be used on its own but must be fitted with any, or many, of the very wide range of available specific application software and additional hardware packages. For example, the same standard platform may be used for accounting, word processing and graphics but each runs from a different software applications package and may need special hardware.

The term has become somewhat confusing in that a standard platform can be anything from a PC to a super computer. Also some applications are mutually exclusive – when the computer’s hardware is configured for one it has to be re-configured to run another. It is then arguable whether this is still a standard platform or has it metamorphosed into a dedicated system?