backward compatibleCompatible with earlier models or versions of the same product. A new version of a program is said to be backward compatible if it can use files and data created with an older version of the same program. A computer is said to be backward compatible if it can run the same software as the previous model of the computer.
Backward compatibility is important because it eliminates the need to start over when you upgrade to a newer product. A backward-compatible word processor, for instance, allows you to edit documents created with a previous version of the program. In general, manufacturers try to keep all their products backward compatible. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to sacrifice backward compatibility to take advantage of a new technology.
The flip side of backward compatibility is upward compatibility. Upward compatible is the same as backward compatible, except that it is from the point of view of the older model.
Another term for backward compatible is downward compatible.
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security
Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »Internet of Things Shaping IT's Future
To make the IoT both work and pay off, IT is juggling upgrading and building app-centric networks, mapping out new data center architectures and... Read More »
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website
This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends
Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »