First and foremost, it is necessary to define the two words that comprise the term registry virtualization.
What is a registry? The hierarchical database that contains essential and crucial information such as processes, applications, and services of Windows is called the registry. The format of the registry is structured in a set-up wherein each node is named as key. Subkeys composed every key while the values are the data entries.
Virtualization on the other hand is term that refers to the concept of constructing computer resources. There are four core categories of virtualization and these are: platform virtualization, resource virtualization, desktop virtualization, and application virtualization.
Given these two working definitions of the terms registry and virtualization, the combined term registry virtualization will be defined.
Registry virtualization is an application compatibility technology, which means that registry virtualization is categorized under the application virtualization since the hosting and construction of computer resources take place using an application. Hence, registry virtualization allows registry write operations to be re-transmitted to every user location.
The redirection mentioned is visible to reading of applications from the registry or writing to the registry. Amongst other kind of virtualization, registry virtualization provides a temporary or interim application compatibility technology. To further explain this point, Microsoft will be set as an example.
Since Microsoft Vista is now the new market of Microsoft, the previous versions of Windows operating system will be totally removed. However it cannot be done right away, so there is the need to use registry virtualization for the meantime to achieve compatibility with the present OS being used. By the time Microsoft Vista can stand alone in the future, registry virtualization will be removed from the OS.
Therefore, users should be aware that their OS should not become very dependent on the registry virtualization.