An intermediate language that is executed by a runtime program. Both Java and Visual Basic source programs are compiled into their particular type of bytecode, which is then executed by their respective runtime programs, called "virtual machines." For example, the Java runtime is called the "Java Virtual Machine" (JVM). The Visual Basic runtime is typically called the "Visual Basic runtime module," but it is also called the "Visual Basic Virtual Machine."|
Although both Java and Visual Basic use a runtime module for execution, there are Java runtimes (JVMs) for almost every hardware platform, enabling Java to run in most computers. Visual Basic is used for Windows only. See Java, Java Virtual Machine and Visual Basic.
Java (bottom) is contrasted with C/C++ (top). Unlike C/C++, which is compiled into machine language for a specific hardware platform, Java programs are compiled into an intermediate bytecode language. The bytecode is then compiled into machine language by a runtime program called the "Java Virtual Machine" (JVM).