Software incompatibility – what is it, exactly? Those of us accustomed to using personal computers have some knowledge of software. We know about various applications, and possibly install various programs, either from Internet downloads or media such as DVDs and CDs. The root of the word ‘incompatible’ is the Medieval Latin term ‘compatibilis’ or the word ‘compati’ from Late Latin, literally meaning ‘sympathetic’ – according to the online edition of Merriam-Webster.
The implication carried by this is the capacity to work together in harmony. As it applies to the world of computers, this denotes the capacity to work with device without conflict, or not to have any conflict with existing programs. By adding the prefix ‘in’ to the word ‘compatible’, the meaning of the word is changed to its reverse, i.e. ‘not compatible’.
Software that is incompatible has problems working with operating systems, other software, or system devices. Some symptoms of these software incompatibilities are system failures, operating system errors, abrupt termination of applications, and various error messages. What error messages are likely to occur as a result of software incompatibility?
These could include such obvious ones as warnings regarding incompatibility with the operating system, or indications that in order for a particular application to function correctly, different software is necessary. Messages might also reference errors to do with problems with missing lines of code, or memory location. They might indicate that there are missing device drivers, or that particular devices will not work together with certain applications.
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