MetaTrader 4, also known as MT4, is an electronic trading platform widely used by online retail foreign exchange speculative traders. It was developed by MetaQuotes Software and released in 2005. The software is licensed to foreign exchange brokers who provide the software to their clients. The software consists of both a client and server component. The server component is run by the broker and the client software is provided to the broker’s customers, who use it to see live streaming prices and charts, to place orders, and to manage their accounts.
The client is a Microsoft Windows-based application that became popular mainly due to the ability for end users to write their own trading scripts and robots that could automate trading. In 2010 MetaQuotes released a successor, MetaTrader 5, however uptake was slow and as of April 2013 most brokers still used MT4. While there is no official MetaTrader 4 version available for Mac OS, some brokers provide their own custom developed MT4 variants for Mac OS.
Its developer MetaQuotes Software had previously released a number of versions of the MetaTrader software starting in 2002. Metatrader 4 was a significantly enhanced version and was released in 2005
Between 2007 and 2010 a number of brokerages added the MT4 platform as an optional alternative to their existing trading software due to its popularity with traders and the large number of third party scripts and advisors.
In 2010 a significantly re-coded MetaTrader 5 went into public beta testing and was subsequently released later in the year, In 2013 and 2014 MQL4 programming language has been completely revised reaching the level of MQL5. Starting from build 600, MQL4 and MQL5 use unified MetaEditor.