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Porting is the process of adapting software in an environment for which it was not originally written or intended to execute in. The term is used interchangeably when referring to the changes made to hardware when it has to be made compatible with other environments.
Software is considered portable when the cost of porting it to a new environment or platform is reasonably less than writing the software from scratch. Software developers often claim their product is portable, implying that it will take little effort for it to work on a customer’s platform. The three preferred platforms are those from Microsoft, Apple and UNIX, making it easier to develop software that is portable. Still, in the embedded system market, porting remains a significant issue. To simplify portability, modern compilers translate to a machine-independent intermediate code.
Porting is also used to refer to the process of converting a computer game to be platform independant.