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Conclusion

This design research report detailed a subject not covered before in design - the issue of cross platform compatibility. I now conclude this report by summing up the issues raised in the previous chapters.

Cross compatibility is affected by;

The difference in the way files are stored on the PC, Macintosh and Acorn platform bring about many difficulties for the designer. The only solution is to learn what can and cannot be done cross each platform, and to be more aware of the limitations long before a project is started, to prevent hitting stumbling blocks at a later critical phase.

My experience in producing a commercial product gave me a good introduction to the complexities of cross platform multimedia production. It proved that even a commercial authoring tool can find it difficult to cope with the myriad of pitfalls and different filing methods that each platform utilises, as well as showing the importance of testing the product on each platform every step of the way.

My questionnaire results proved that the state of play regarding the portability of files across different computers is still a haphazard experience. With so much money being spent on software and hardware development, it is a shame that the companies responsible for this are not paying enough attention to the immediate problems of cross compatibility - a real problem that will only get worse with ignorance.

In the future, however, the need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of computer will become less of a concern, as multimedia moves towards mainstream entertainment and with it, platform independence becoming reality. But, for the time being at least, it is still some way off, leaving technical expertise on the part of the user as the only way of addressing cross platform compatibility.

In conclusion, in answering the question of whether multimedia can be platform independent, the answer is yes, it can be, but it requires more cooperation between manufacturers, developers and users for such digital media to be freely accessible to everyone.

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