The Advantage of Backward Compatibility

Compatibility is nothing but the ability to exist together without problems or conflict. It means that a system, product, or technology allows for continued interoperability with older legacy systems.


What is compatibility testing and backward compatibility?

Compatibility testing is a type of software testing to check whether your software is capable of running on different hardware, operating systems, applications, network environments or mobile devices. 1

Backward compatibility testing, specifically, is used to verify the behavior of the developed hardware/software with the older versions of the hardware/software.

A new product or software is considered backward compatible when it is able to operate across multiple generations of the operating systems or solutions. Backward compatibility allows the usage of newer technology with older systems or solutions without the need to upgrade those systems or solutions to latest versions. It eliminates the need to start over when you upgrade to a newer product.


What does this mean for voice technology?

Philips has made it paramount for many years that all their dictation hardware is designed with backward compatibility in mind. If you purchase the latest hardware from Philips, you will not need to purchase new software as well to continue working as usual. Backward compatibility keeps costs low and offers flexibility for end users and solutions providers. Philips software takes backward compatibility a step further by supporting not only Philips hardware but select competitors’ hardware. So, if you are using hardware that is not from Philips, you can purchase Philips software to ensure that your workflow if future-proof. Competitors’ hardware may not be backward compatible, so if you need to update your hardware or software, you would need to update both at the same time!


Software integration benefits

Third-party solution providers are keen on supporting Philips hardware through integration via SDK due to the backward compatibility offering from Philips. Having done the integration once, it enables the integrators to offer the end user to use a variety of Philips products without having to make additional investments in time and effort to support the new hardware.



Modern technology is constantly evolving, and it can be hard for customers to keep up. Sure, new technology is great, but if it is not backward compatible it forces customers to purchase all new hardware and software just to be able to continue using their solution. This can be disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive. At Philips, we strive to make sure our customers can upgrade seamlessly, and only purchase new hardware and software when they are ready for that change. Because it’s not about making sure the customer has the latest trend, it’s about making sure that they have the right solution.





If you have any questions about backward compatibility, leave a comment and let us know!


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