Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » B »

backward compatible

Compatible 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.

The Problem with Statistics

We look at a few of the more troubling aspects of statistics and how these may be used to advance an agenda or skew the facts to someone's... Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Sharing Threat Intelligence

A growing number of startups make the sharing of threat intelligence a key part of their solutions. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »