Chapter 4: Installing, Configuring, and Maintaining Software
Windows Vista does not include an Add/Remove Programs utility. Instead, it relies
completely on the software and game programs themselves to provide the necessary
installation features through a related Setup or Autorun program.
Most programs created for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me,
Windows 2000, and Windows XP use setup.exe programs. Programs
created for Windows Vista and later versions of Windows can use
autorun.exe programs, particularly if those programs use current ver-
sions of Windows installers. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll refer to both
Setup and Autorun programs as Setup programs.
Windows Vista also provides new architecture guidelines for software and game pro-
grams that fundamentally change the way software access tokens are used and the
way software programs write to system locations. These changes are so far-reaching
that software not specifically designed to support the new architecture guidelines is
considered legacy software. This means there are two general categories of software
that you can use with Windows Vista:
• Windows Vista-compliant applications
• Legacy applications
Any software written specifically for Windows Vista’s new architecture guidelines is
considered a compliant application and can be certified as compliant with Microsoft.
Applications certified as compliant have the Windows Vista-compliant logo. Appli-
cations written for Windows Vista have access tokens that describe the privileges
required to run and perform tasks. Windows Vista-compliant applications fall into
two general categories:
Administrator user applications
If an application requires elevated privileges to run and perform tasks, it is con-
sidered an administrator user application. Administrator user applications can
write to system locations of the registry and filesystem.
Standard user applications
If an application does not require elevated privileges to run and perform tasks, it
is considered a standard user application. Standard user applications should
write only to nonsystem locations of the registry and filesystem.
Any application written for an earlier version of Windows is considered a legacy
application. Legacy applications run as standard user applications and in a special
compatibility mode that provides virtualized views of file and registry locations.
When a legacy application attempts to write a system location, Windows Vista gives
the application a private copy of the file or registry value. Any changes are then writ-
ten to the private copy, and this private copy is in turn stored in the user’s profile
data. If the application attempts to read or write to this system location again, it is
given the private copy from the user’s profile.