Computer compatibility

A family of computer models is compatible with certain software that runs on one of the models. The computer models may differ in performance , reliability or some other characteristic. These differences can affect the outcome of the running of the software.

Software compatibility

Software compatibility can refer to the compatibility of a particular software has running on a particular CPU architecture such as Intel or PowerPC . Software compatibility can also refer to the ability to run a particular operating system . Very rarely is a compiled software compatible with multiple different CPU architectures. Normally, an application is compiled for different CPU architectures and operating systems to allow it to be compatible with the different system. Interpreted software, on the other hand, can be run on many different CPUs and operating systems if the interpreter is available for the architecture or operating system. The software is incompatible with the older version of the operating system because it is not compatible with the older version of the operating system.

Hardware compatibility

Hardware architecture architecture , bus, motherboard or operating system . Hardware that is compatible, but it can still work with legacy components . An example is RAM chips, some of which can run at a lower (or sometimes higher) clock rate than rated. Hardware that is designed for one operating system, or the device is not available. For example, much of the hardware for Mac OS X is proprietary hardwarewith drivers unavailable for Linux .

Free and open-source software

Main article: Free and open-source software

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