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Common software and hardware platforms:

The quality of the underlying system platform, measured  in average stability and support for all the platform  parts, including the Function library API, Operating System, Hardware, and Development Tools.
For convenience, here is a list of common platform parts and their ratings, as estimated at the time of publication of this article (August 2010).

Hardware:
Part NamePopularityStabilityDocumentation Level
PC Architecture (x86 compatible)PopularStableWell documented
CPU x86 compatible (IA32, A64, MMX, SSE, SSE2)PopularStableWell documented
CPU AMD 3DNowPopularStableWell documented
CPU ARM coreStableWell documented
Altera FPGAStableWell documented
Xilinx FPGAStableWell documented
Atmel AVRPopularStableWell documented
MCU Microchip PICPopularStableWell documented
MCU x51 compatible (8051, 8052)PopularStableWell documented
MCU Motorola Wireless Modules (G24)StableWell documented
MCU Telit Wireless Modules (GE862/4/5)StableWell documented
USB busPopularFunctionalMostly documented
PCI busPopularStableMostly documented
Serial bus (RS232, RS485, TTL)PopularStableWell documented
I2C busStableMostly documented


Operating Systems:
Part NamePopularityStabilityDocumentation Level
Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003, XP, ES, PE, Vista, SevenPopularStableWell documented
Microsoft Windows 3.11, 95, 98, 98SE, Millenium, NT3, NT4
FunctionalMostly documented
Linux (major distros: Ubuntu, RedHat/Fedora,  Mandriva, Puppy, DSL, Slax, Suse)PopularStableWell documented
Linux (distros: Gentoo, CentOS)
StableWell documented
Linux (distros: uCLinux, PocketLinux, RouterOS)FunctionalWell documented
Windows CE, Handheld, Smartphone, Mobile,
FunctionalMostly documented
MacOSX
StableWell documented
ReactOSExperimentalWell documented
PSOSStableMostly documented
VMXStableMostly documented
SolarisStableWell documented
SymbianPopularStableMostly documented
Ericsson Mobile PlatformStableMostly documented
Apple iPhone IOSStableMostly documented
AndroidFunctionalWell documented


Function library API:
Part NamePopularityStabilityDocumentation Level
Oracle/Sun Java SE, EEPopularStableWell documented
Oracle/Sun Java ME (CLDC, CDC, MIDP)PopularStableWell documented
C runtime libraryPopularStableWell documented
Apache serverPopularStableWell documented
Microsoft IISPopularStableWell documented
FlashPopularStableMostly documented
UnrealEngineStableMostly documented
Microsoft .NETPopularStableWell documented
MonoFunctionalWell documented
Gecko / SpiderMonkey (Mozilla, Firefox, SeaMonkey, K-Meleon, Aurora, Midori)PopularStableWell documented
Microsoft Internet ExplorerPopularStableWell documented
Apple WebKit (Safari)StableWell documented