As the name implies, a Virtual Machine is not a real machine, such as a Pentium, but rather a machine, specified almost as precisely as a real machine, that is realized in software. Examples include the Java Virtual Machine, and Microsoft's .NET Virtual Machine.

The advantage of translating to a virtual machine (VM) rather than a real one is that the results can be run on any machine that has an interpreter or dynamic compiler (e.g. a JIT) for that VM. The browser that you are using to view this page probably has a Java VM built in, so that it can run programs downloaded from, or generated by, the World Wide Web.

-- MikeVanEmmerik - 01 Dec 2001

Revision: r1.2 - 17 Jun 2005 - 13:16 - MikeVanEmmerik
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