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Backward compatibility

Technological ability to interact with older technologies / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Backward compatibility (sometimes known as backwards compatibility) is a property of an operating system, software, real-world product, or technology that allows for interoperability with an older legacy system, or with input designed for such a system, especially in telecommunications and computing.

Wii-gamecube-compatibility.jpg
The first model of the Wii features backward compatibility with its predecessor, the GameCube, having the ability to run its discs and use its controllers and memory cards, later versions of the system removed this feature.

Modifying a system in a way that does not allow backward compatibility is sometimes called "breaking" backward compatibility.[1] Such breaking usually incurs various types of costs, such as switching cost.

A complementary concept is forward compatibility. A design that is forward-compatible usually has a roadmap for compatibility with future standards and products.[2]

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