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Definition: compatibility

The degree with which software works with hardware and/or other software. As hardware and software evolve, compatibility is a fundamental problem that never ends in the computer industry. At some point in time, new hardware instructions have to be developed that allow a computer to process more efficiently, and existing software has to be updated to take advantage of it. Equally important is the enhancement of operating systems and their related development systems in order to perform new tasks. Applications have to be modified to take advantage of them. See standards.