Windows Vista – Virtualized Files
For the past few weeks, I’ve been playing around with Windows Vista. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first, but after a while of working with Vista, I have been quite impressed. One area I like is the virtualization of several sections of the OS and of key files.
When an application requires the ability to write to the Program Files directory, Vista places those files into a virtual location in the user’s profile without the application ever knowing that this has happened. For example, let’s say there’s an application that needs to write to C:\Program Files\My Application\configuration.ini. In previous versions of Windows, unless the user explicitly has write access to that file or has administrative rights, the application may fail. In Vista, the OS will place the configuration.ini file in C:\Users\username\AppData\VirtualStore\Program Files\My Application\configuration.ini so that the application can write to the file without failing. The application won’t even know this has happened as Vista takes care of this all behind the scenes. This new feature makes an administrator’s life easier by being able to keep the Program Files directory secure.