COM port driver - is this possible?

I've interfaced with a COM port for RS-232 communication over a USB-RS-232 adapter cable and wondered if there was a way to make computer software to simulate this.

We all know about software that acts as a print driver to make PDF documents and I wonder if there would be a way to simulate a COM port for other purposes. Is there a way to make a device driver or any kind of software in Windows or Ubuntu that can take the role of the COM port?

I'd be most interested in finding a way that can take up the role of a COM port at a certain name like COM3 and interact with any program trying to connect with it just like having the real hardware hooked up.

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