Consider this a Little FYI for those of you looking forward to Windows 7, and those who are trying to understand why we have so many issues with compatibility between XP and Vista.

From what I gather in XP, Microsoft let people put files anywhere, programmers, coders, applications, whoever cared to write anything for XP you could store files wherever in the hierarchy permissions and best practices be damned. The same went for how you pulled information from the operating system, access any file you like and go for the gusto! This was great for quick and dirty coding but horrible for security and conformity. When Microsoft laid out the groundwork for Vistathey moved towards focusing on standards, best practices, and security. This caused some issues.

Jumping ahead to Windows 7 after my quick look it looks to be the same. However here is the big change. Vista coughed up a lung when it found files out of place, or programs tried to interact with the OS in a way they weren’t supposed to, it couldn’t deal with them. Programs broke willy nilly allover the place, and the place was a wreck. In Windows 7, a new feature called XP mode will enable programs to work within a sandbox, so they can store files in places where they would like, to a certain extent I’m sure, and then drop back out of XP / Sandbox mode for the rest of the OS to work correctly. XP mode is designed to be an insulated environment which gives you security and functionality at the same time.

Moving forward Microsoft will be focusing on pressing developers to work within API’s, and place nice with the file system. But until everyone is on the same page I think XP mode, whether you understand what its doing or not is goign to make people a lot happier with the next version of Windows.

The sad thing about this whole mess is that Microsoft gets all the blame while the people who wrote sloppy code get to throw a fit.

I hope this little blub goes a ways to explain the issues that are out ther right now, and please if you think I’m off base throw down in the comments.

Hat tip to Chuck for bringing the issue up in the comments of CaffiNation 336 and getting me thinking.