What Does Portability Mean?
Portability, in relation to software, is a measure of how easily an application can be transferred from one computer environment to another. A computer software application is considered portable to a new environment if the effort required to adapt it to the new environment is within reasonable limits. The meaning of the abstract term 'reasonable' depends upon the nature of the application and is often difficult to express in quantifiable units.
The phrase "to port" means to modify software and make it adaptable to work on a different computer system. For example, to port an application to Linux means to modify the program so that it can be run in a Linux environment.
Portability refers to the ability of an application to move across environments, not just across platforms. To clarify, a computer platform generally refers to the operating system and computer hardware only. A computer environment is much broader and may include the hardware, the operating system and the interfaces with other software, users and programmers.